THE law against street vending and public nuisances is a good one but which unluckily appears to exist only on paper.
Although people may be aware of the law, it would seem the same people have thrown it to the winds and do as they please for mysterious reasons.
Yet street vendors top the list of being the vilest irritants because of the manner they littler streets and whatever areas they ply their trade in, thereby creating complete insalubrious environments.
But the need for clean environments at home, in places where they conduct businesses, at workplaces, shopping malls, on the roads, or any other place, does not need accentuating.
His is because a clean environment is one that is void of any form of contamination and its effect. It is indeed an environment that has clean air, water, and energy. It is basically a healthy and safe milieu.
Sadly our street vendors have become synonymous with urinating in public, defecating in used beer packs and plastic bags, and dumping the rubbish in the streets and drainages.
This has subsequently led to flooding in many parts of Lusaka as drainages get blocked by this litter but for street vendors it is business as usual. They care less and cannot be bothered.
Indiscriminate disposal of garbage in residential areas, has also greatly contributed to outbreaks of cholera almost every year in Zambia.
These people should be told in no indeterminate terms that selling goods from undesignated places are among many other felonies that members of the public should always shun.
It was therefore nice to learn that vendors who made an illegal camp at Chilenje High School grounds to ply their trade have finally been removed by the Lusaka City Council police.
LCC public relations officer, Thelma Chembe, said the illegal traders were found selling assorted merchandise ranging from vegetables to kitchen utensils off Ring Road this yesterday.
In a statement, Ms Chembe said LCC Police decided to pounce on the vendors following several warning notices asking them to vacate the premises.
She said the team of police officers politely asked the vendors to pack their merchandise and leave the area with immediate effect.
“Some makeshift structures were brought down to ensure that illegal trading does not continue,” she said.
Ms Chembe said LCC was sending a strong warning to illegal traders around the city to stop or face the wrath of the law.
Government is serious about totally eradicating diseases such as cholera as it emphases on improving living standards of people throughout Zambia. Therefore, everyone is expected to obey this law against street vending.
Local authorities in all 10 provinces of Zambia should apply the law without any hindrance. At the centre of all operations in the field will be the councils’ police departments and this is where the entire issue sits.
Council police officers should be given more power to allow them to have teeth which they will use to ‘bite’ law breakers.
They will have to work closely with other law enforcement agencies such as the State police to enforce this benevolent law.
Local authorities are therefore expected to not only make litter bins available, but also place them tactically, whether on the streets, at markets or bus stations – at points where they will be perceptible – and ensure timely collection of garbage.
Authorities in various places such as institutions of learning, companies and churches should also intensify procedures aimed at supporting hygienic environments.
This can only be conceivable if the law against street vending is applied in earnest and without prejudice.