SANFROSSA MANYINDA writes
PRIVATE and public vehicle owners have invaded the newly constructed pedestrian walkways in the Central Business District (CBD) of Kitwe forcing pedestrians to use the main roads.
According to the Road Transport and Safety Agency (RTSA) and the Zambia Police, the majority of people who die in road accidents are pedestrians and cyclists.
Some pedestrians complained that both sides of the roads were usually blocked, making it difficult for them to move safely.
They wondered why some pavements that were meant and designed for pedestrians had turned into parking lots for bus operators and private vehicles.
“It gets impossible for us to walk on pedestrian ways especially for some of us who have relatives that are in wheelchairs. We always have to go onto the road despite it being dangerous but what can we do?” Mercy Kaluba wondered.
Ms Kaluba explained that they were almost run over on the main roads on several occasions.
Another resident, Poster Jumbe, said it was disappointing to note that the local authority had remained mute on the matter despite receiving complaints.
Mr Jumbe said it was not fair that people have not been given the right to enjoy the facilities that have been put up for them.
“The situation is bad especially on Langashe Street where even some traders have even left their shops to sell their merchandise on the pavements.
“The silence we are getting from the council is worrying especially that we see them monitoring business activities in the CBD every day,” he said.
Mr Jumbe stated that the failure by the council to manage the situation would cause more problems as the matter had already gotten out of hand.
But when contacted for a comment, Kitwe City Council Public Relations Officer, Nelly Nkolongo, said that the council had issued warning on several occasions but to no avail as vehicle owners went back and parked once council officers left.
Ms Nkolongo said that the council was in the process of starting to clamp vehicles that would be found parked in pedestrian walkways in the CBD so that owners could be prosecuted.