By Darphny Chimfwembe
KITWE mayor Christopher Kang’ombe says street vending will not be allowed in the mining city.
Speaking after street vendors clashed with police on Saturday after they displayed their merchandise along Obote and Matuka avenues.
The vendors, who tried restraining the police by throwing stones and other objects at them, dared the officers to move them out of the streets because PF secretary general Davies had told all ruling party cadres and supporters to take over the running of trading areas.
But when police fired teargas at them, the vendors scampered in all directions, fearing brutal action.
And speaking after the clash, Kang’ombe said vendors were causing confusion in the city.
“Those who are causing confusion in the streets are greedy vendors who want to deprive others from making the same amount of money that they make; that’s why they do not want to go back in the market but we will not allow them. There will be no street vending,” said Kang’ombe.
Calm returned to Kitwe in the afternoon as police presence increased on the streets.
A month ago, the local authority in Kitwe in a radical decision, banned street vending and all vendors were forcefully moved to Chisokone Market.
“Ba Mwila made it very clear in Kabwe when he addressed the party members that we should take charge, we should be in control. This Kitwe City Council, the police are nothing to us. They should continue with their fake courage of removing us from the streets if they want to lose their jobs,” a PF supporter and street vendor, Robinson Kunda, said in an interview on Saturday.
Maureen Mulenga, who trades in second-hand clothes, said vendors had enough of ill-treatment from the PF government.
“We begged that before they clean the place where they want to take us to, we should remain in the streets but they moved us without planning. We have stayed for three months without trading and we have children to take care of who have passed to grade right while others are getting into college and universities and so we are back on the streets,” said Mulenga.
And Vincent Muyopa said it was unfair for the local authority to send vendors out of the streets when there was unemployment in the city.