The PF government has admitted there is a problem of street vending in the country which has grown out of control.
Minister of Local Government and Housing Emmanuel Chenda said there was no government policy to guide the operations and management of street vending in Zambia.
Mr Chenda told Parliament yesterday that government was consciously thinking about the matter to find the best possible solution to the problem of street vending that has gone out of hand, because even the construction of a new market would not solve the problem.
“We should be realistic and realise that the matter has grown out of hand, which is why as government we are investing in a survey that would help control and eradicate street vending in Zambia’s major towns,” he said.
The minister was at pains to explain the PF government’s policy on street vending which he described as a big problem which was being managed through relevant organs.
And some Lusaka vendors have hailed the Lusaka City Council (LCC) for their steps to reduce illicit trade in alcohol on the streets.
Mr Charles Musonda, a vegetable vendor explained that the people were happy with the council on the steps taken against those selling alcohol by the roadsides as this was not a healthy development.
Mr Musonda said the sale of beer by the roadsides had encouraged underage drinking because traders did not observe any rules.
“We are happy the council is finally moving in on these beer vendors because there was too much fighting and insults whenever they got drunk,
“It is about time some authority moved in to control the free flow of alcohol among young boys and girls who were exposed to early consumption of alcohol without restrictions,” he said.
Mr Musonda said alcohol, unlike fruits and vegetables had aggressive effects when consumed and that it affected other people who did not take part in the drinking.
And LCC assistant public relations manager Brenda Katongola disclosed that 10 suspects have been apprehended in the illegal trading of alcohol in markets and on the streets.
In a statement yesterday, Ms Katongola said the suspects were cornered during an on-going exercise to clamp down on illegal alcohol trade which was against Liquor Licensing Act Cap 167 of the Laws of Zambia.
“The 10 suspects are expected to appear in the fast track court as soon as all the legal formalities are completed.
“Of the 10, six were picked up from Kaunda Square Stages I and II Markets, two from Chelston market and one person was apprehended from Freedom Way in the central business district (CBD) of Lusaka for illegal trading in alcohol,” she said.
She explained that the local authority would not condone any form of illegality around the city and has vowed to commit entirely to the eradication of such vices within its jurisdiction. Ms Katongola said the council would work closely with State police to ensure violators of Liquor Licensing Act were brought to book.