Leader of the opposition Patriots for Economic Progress Sean Tembo has condemned what he has termed as harassment of street vendors by the government through a short notice given for them to vacate the Central Business District.
Local Government and Rural Development Minister Garry Nkombo yesterday gave a short notice and ultimatum to street vendors to immediately vacate Cairo road, Chachacha road and Freedom Way and directed the Council to relocate them to designated trading places.
But Mr. Tembo said that the government should have first engaged the representatives of the street vendors before removing them from the streets.
Addressing Journalists at a media briefing, Mr. Tembo said this will increase poverty at household level especially that the prices of commodities have gone up following the adjustment in fuel prices by the Energy Regulations Board.
Meanwhile, Patriotic Front acting Secretary-General Nickson Chilangwa says the party is disturbed with the decision by the UPND government to unceremoniously remove street vendors from the streets.
“President Hakainde Hichilema and his promise breaking administration are now showing their true insensitive colours. The elitist UPND gave fake promises to the poor masses just to win the vote of vendors and the poor masses,”he said.
“Instead of fulfilling their promise to reduce the price of fuel and electricity, the UPND administration have broken their promise by doing the opposite of what they promised. They have instead removed the fuel and electricity subsidies that cushioned the poor, and hiked fuel prices and electricity tariffs. This has significantly raised the cost of living – particularly for the vendors and masses of our people,”.
And now to add salt to injury, he said, the UPND is bent on taking away the little that is left of the livelihoods of street vendors whose life the UPND has already made harder with the increased cost of living brought on by the Hichilema administration’s decision to remove subsidies.
Mr Chilangwa said “How does the UPND government expect our people on the street to survive without providing them an alternative.
In a statement, the SG demanded that the UPND administration leave the street vendors on the streets until alternative and acceptable alternatives are found for them.
“Unlike our capitalist friends in the UPND government, PF remains a pro-poor party.
PF is therefore greatly disturbed by this insensitive UPND injustice and we sympathise with our sisters, mother’s brothers and fathers,”he said.
He said “As the Kabwata Constituency by-election approaches, we note that there are street vendors who either come from Kabwata Constituency or are connected to the constituency in one way or another, and we call upon them and the people of Kabwata to signal their disgust for the many promises UPND have broken in such a short time, by voting for PF.