Broom traders cry for cleaner trading space

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LINDA SOKO TEMBO writes

@SunZambian

AS the downpour continues and the conditions worsen, broom sellers at Buseko market have continued to live and trade from the unhygienic narrow land strip between Lusaka’s Umuzilikazi Road and the nearby industries.

The over hundred traders mostly from Western Province, are crammed in makeshift plastic tents, some of them with babies and school going children, where they camp for months while in Lusaka and operate their business from.

The traders have appealed to the Lusaka City Council to find them a suitable and conducive place to operate from.

But the council says the broom traders should operate from existing markets just like anyone else.

LCC Public Relations Manager George Shichimba further advised the broom traders to vacate the premises because it is an illegal settlement.

The broom sellers complained to The Sun in separate interviews they were living in very harsh conditions but had no choice because they needed to provide for their families back home.

Prisca Mulemba, a window from Kaoma, said that she was forced to camp in filthy at Buseko Market by the broom selling business because of the need to raise money for her school-going children.

“The living conditions are harsh. We sleep in makeshifts plastic tents and sometimes our homes get submerged in water when it rains but we have no choice,” observed Mulemba.

Another broom vendor, Mundia Nyambe who came to Lusaka in August, said the traders have a challenge in finding suitable space to trade from every time they travel from Western Province. He appealed to government to consider building a depot for them.

“The current situation is bad. It would be good if government constructed a depot for us so we have a permanent place to trade from. We are not Lusaka residents and we are just here for trade,” he said.  

He added that “We are here 24 hours but there are no sanitation facilities for us to use.”

About six months ago, Matero Member of parliament Lloyd Kazhila earlier on promised his office would work with government to try and find the broom traders a suitable trading site.

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