Street vendors in Chipata have resisted being removed from the streets on the 15th of February until government provides them with jobs. Efforts to prepare the commencement of the clean up exercise by the council today was met with resistance and they are now calling for the removal of Chipata Mayor Sinoya Mwale and local government minister Vincent Mwale.
Earlier this year, the local authority gave end of March for the vendors, mainly from the ruling PF to relocate to the markets but along the way they changed the mind and said the ultimatum would be Wednesday, 15th February but the vendors have vowed not to be removed. Central government and the Chipata municipality are saying that the removal of vendors is one of the pre-qualifications for Chipata to attain the city status.
They today marched to the offices of the PF provincial leadership but the provincial leadership failed to address them and referred them to the civic centre where they went chanting slogans to remove Mayor Mwale and minister Vincent Mwale who is also Chipangali PF Member of parliament.
In spite of the campaign promises not to remove vendors from the streets until markets are built for them, President Edgar Lungu and his PF have gone on rampage clearing the towns of vendors. The PF government has however failed to build any reasonable markets to relocate the vendors and, like in the Lusaka city case they are planning to relocate them to go and trade in the alleys and shops access ways.