Street Vending in Kitwe


Kitwe Street Vendor - Morgan - kitweonline
The change of government from the ruling MMD to Patriotic front has brought about a lot of expectations from the ordinary Zambian.
The general population is expecting to begin to see changes that would bring more money in their pockets as promised by the patriotic front in their campaigns.
The campaign slogan “more money in the pockets” was a promise that the government would create opportunities for people to make money and be able to make a good living.
President Sata asked councils country wide to allow people to trade on the streets without being harassed by local Authorities.
Kitwe online took to the streets of Kitwe in order to talk to people on the street to see what is happening. These were some of the views:
Q   what is your name?
Ans:  My name is James Iam a taxi driver found on Oxford Street.
Q People have been allowed to trade on the streets what are your views?
Ans; well this is a good thing as it empowers families, but I feel that the traders should only be allowed to trade after 16hrs.
Q Why do you say so?
Ans:  You see right now here where my taxi is parked, is in the middle of the road. There is no parking space for Minibuses and taxis. All the available parking space has been taken up by vendors. It is not safe for them to place their merchandise in the middle of the road. A motorist can lose control of a motor vehicle and end up running over a vendor and it can be a very bad situation.
Q What do you think should be done to reduce congestion on Oxford road?
Ans:  what the council should do is to move the bus stations away from Oxford road. There were plans, and I don’t know how far they have gone, that buses for Nkana east,Chamboli,and Wusakile would be allocated a land in Nkana west at a park just after the rail road crossing adjacent to MTN building. The Chambishi, chimwemwe, mindolo, Buchi, would be taken to KMB. Riverside station would remain here where it is. The big buses would be moved from town centre and from KMB to Buchi just after the robots at Kitwe central hospital on chingola high way.
Another taxi driver by the name of Joseph Mwila had this to say when asked:
Q what is your view about street vending in Kitwe?
Ans: I don’t like this street vending. it is causing a lot of garbage. There is also room for pick pockets, thieves who pretend to sell plastic carrier bags and yet they target people who are busy trying to negotiate their way through the vending crowd. I have witnessed a lot of women cry of having lost money here.
Q How can the problem of street vending be reduced?
Ans: Ah big man it is difficult. You the people are the ones who encourage street vending. Instead of buying at the market, you always think that the market is far away. You have a general tendency of buying things on your way home and near to places where you board your buses. You are too lazy to walk distances from your working places to the market. The street vendors have taken advantage of the ‘busy shopper’ attitude. 
Vendors in car park - kitweonline
Q Don’t you have a relative or your wife vending here too like other people do?
Ans: I would rather have my family live on stones if I cannot feed them from my income as a driver, than to have my wife vend on the street. Even if I have not gone far in school, I know that vending affects the business of shop owners around here who have proper business papers and they pay tax to the state.
Evelyn Mwansa had this to say:
Q` what is your view about street vending?
Ans: It is good, because us women are the bread winners in most homes where we come from. if you see, we are more than the men here.
Q  How much business do you have on the street?
Ans: There is money here, but do not ask me for some if I tell you how much I make (joke).I make more than K200000 in one day here, selling second hand clothes . In the market that was money I could make in four or five days.
Q If you continue making good money like that, do you wish to remain trading on the street for long?
Ans: My brother, or is it my Uncle let me tell you. I’m raising money to complete building my house. I want to build a house for my children. The day that I will put a roof on my unfinished house ,is the day when I will stop street vending. I will never have an opportunity to put more money in my pockets other than street vending. And by the way please do not take a picture of me.
Do you have an opinion on the issue of street vending? Join the discussion and leave your contribution below
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