Zambia`s ruling Patriotic Front has declared street vending in the country`s central business districts as legal soon after street vendors staged a mini protest to demand the dismissal of certain government officials who wanted the vendors removed from their trading areas.
Former local government minister Professor Nkandu Luo was demoted last week in President Michael Sata`s mini-cabinet reshuffle when she declared zero tolerance on street vending in a bid to bring sanity to most cities in the country, particularly Lusaka and Copperbelt.
President Sata, who enjoyed massive support among street vendors in the run up to the September 2011 elections, immediately removed Professor Luo from her position to avoid antagonising one of his biggest constituencies. The changes came a few days when street vendors staged a mini protest in Lusaka. Lusaka Province Minister Gerry Chanda last evening featured on a state owned ZNBC television programme on which he endorsed PF Secretary General Wynter Kabimba`s position on legalising street vending.
Kabimba was on private radio stations – Radio Phoenix – supporting street vendors to operate wherever they wanted in the main streets of Lusaka and other urban towns.
The Kanyama Parliamentarian said the PF had legalised vending. He explained that the PF has allowed vendors to trade from the streets until alternative places and jobs are provided to them.
It has come to light that in Ndola Street Vendors a paying levies to the Ndola City Council. When contacted some street vendors in Ndola admitted to be paying levies to Ndola City Council. The types of receipts that are used to street vendors are different from the receipts that are being given to Marketers. This has raised some concern from Street Vendors want to know the criteria used when collecting these levies.
Stephen Nkomen is the leader of “Watch your life movement”, a street vendors organization based in Ndola/Zambia, affiliated to AZIEA