Opposition National Restoration Party (NAREP) has developed an empowerment scheme that is aimed at creating jobs to curb vending in the country.
In a statement signed by party president Elias Chipimo, the project called ‘NAREP Empowerment and Enterprise Plan’ (NEEP) would help create jobs in a bid to promote sustainable livelihoods.
Mr Chipimo said the project involved the adoption of a policy by government to allocate 10 percent of all its procurement of goods and services to youth and women enterprises that would also specifically target street vendors.
He said NAREP was collecting as many as 1000,000 signatories in support of the plan to demonstrate to the government that the project could be implemented as soon as possible.
“If government moves fast to implement NAREP’s plan for job creation, such action need not be seen in a bad light by the vendors as they would have an alternative means of livelihood. People tend not to realise that street vendors are often hard working individuals with limited options and social challenges, just want to have a chance. And the majority of young Zambians just want to have a chance at a decent life.”
And Mr Chipimo realised that vending could only be controlled and managed through the introduction of along certain sections of the streets on which the vendors currently operate, adding that such approach had been successfully applied by municipalities in other countries.
Nothing, however, will sustainably address the problem of street vending more rapidly than creating opportunity for vendors to be truly empowered to deliver goods and services in a structured and communally responsible manner. In other words, the government must come up with an immediate plan to stimulate the creation of jobs and enterprises for our youth and women.