By Michael Kaluba
Scores of Kitwe vendors this morning staged a protest against the Kitwe City Council`s decision to remove street vendors from the Central Business District.
Some vendors who blocked the entrance to the Kitwe Civic Center offices told Phoenix News during the protest that this decision will leave them stranded with no source of income especially that it has come abruptly, without providing alternative trading spaces or engaging them to leave the streets.
The vendors blocked the entrance to the Kitwe Civic Center with stones preventing traffic in and out of the local authority premises momentarily before dispersing peaceful while chanting that they will stay in the streets until government fulfils its promise to provide more jobs and lower the cost of living.
And Kitwe Town Clerk Mbulo Seke says the decision to remove vendors from Pick n Pay area, Shoprite and Kalulushi station areas was made last year after which illegal trading outside the designated street vending permitted only along the Chisokone one way street after 16 hours was used by marketeers to illegally trade elsewhere within town center.
Meanwhile, Association for Vendors and Marketeers of Zambia-AVEMA- President Abel Chikwa says while the intentions of the current government would be to bring sanity, people must first be provided with alternative trading spaces after addressing them before drastic action is taken.