Traders oppose LCC move on street vendors

THE decision by the Lusaka City Council to relocate street vendors from Cairo, Lumumba and Los Angeles roads to a piece of land near Simoson building has angered the business community in the same area.

The business community which uses the piece of land between Simon Mwewa Lane and Lumumba Road as a parking  area ,have taken the council to task over its decision to give it to street vendors.

Simon Mwewa Lane spokesperson Mr Chitambala Mwewa told the Daily Nation that there would be chaos should the local authority go ahead with its decision.

He said on Wednesday, the business community met at Nakatindi Hall to register their displeasure on the decision by the council.

Mr Mwewa explained that the said area was currently used as a parking lot for business houses on Simon Mwewa Lane who paid rates to the council every month.

“We are here as a business community from Simon Mwewa lane to oppose the planned move by Lusaka City Council to relocate street vendors from Cairo, Lumumba and Los Angelos Roads onto this piece of land,

“We are currently using it as a parking lot for companies in this building,” said Mr Mwewa.

He said that if the LCC went ahead and relocated the more than 1,000 vendors, it would create challenges for facilities such as toilets to cater for such an influx of people.

He explained that the area was inadequate to cater for a huge number of street vendors and that it would be difficult to deal with the current health challenges still being faced in the location.

Mr Mwewa said the local authority must reverse the move for the sake of the survival of the business community on Simon Mwewa lane, as well as health and economic considerations.

He said the explanation by the council that the move was a stop gap  measure was not in the best interest of  the citizens.

“We totally disagree with the council because there is no such thing as a temporary move. Look at Garden compound that was originally a temporary location after all these years, the compound is still standing.

“And if these vendors are relocated to Simon Mwewa Lane, that’s it, they will be here to stay and where will they take them to after that,” he said.

LCC acting public relations manager Habeenzu Mulunda last week announced that plans to remove street vendors from the three roads in the central business area have reached advanced stage, and that an alternative place had been found right in front of the famous Simoson Building.

Mr Mulunda said the space between Lumumba /Los Angelos roads traffic lights and the Ben Bella /Lumumba roads traffic lights has been identified as a more suitable place for the vendors to trade in.

He revealed that several meetings had been held and a lot of progress has been made towards the removal of street vendors from the three roads as part of phase one.