The Removal Of Street Vendors Was Not About Sanitation, But About Revenue Collection – Hon. Raphael Nakacinda



Friday, 21 July 2023

As we emphasise with our brothers and sisters whose livelihoods have been thrown in the cold by the new dawn government, we want to reveal the real reason for which this decision was made without proper planning and solutions.

President Hakainde and his new dawn administration are growing increasingly desperate to collect revenue to impress the IMF. Due to PRESSURE from the IMF on the failing economy, the UPND in their consultations with IMF agreed to arbitrary remove street vendors in order to collect revenues through levies and penalties from markets. It is their considered view that government has been losing revenue with the continued existence of street vendors in the Lusaka CBD.

Hence the overnight decision to move in on the defenceless vulnerable street vendors. Like we have stated to the Zambian people, that HH and his UPND dont care about the plight of the poor Zambians. While they have given collosal tax holidays and subsidies for their friends in the mines and big business empires, the UPND has pounced on the street vendors by squeezing them in the markets so as to collect revenue from them.

As PF we see this as a clear indictment on the UPND of a dekiverate policy of heavily TAXING THE POOR of the poorest while giving a free lunch of tax incentives, TAX HOLIDAYS and subsidies to the RICH and powerful whom they have negotiated with to keep their dollars abit longer in the country in order to create an artificial low dollar to kwacha rate.

The main aim of this move, is to squeeze people into the markets where government can collect money from stands and market levies and penalties to improve their revenue base to impress the IMF.. The truth of the matter is that the UPND have failed to resolve the economic situation on which they were voted for, and with no money in circulation their narrow and shallow solution was to ambush street vendors.

We find the arguments about health, cleanliness and sanitation as a very narrow and simplistic reason in advancing the removal of street vendors. The question of sanitation can not arise if we had a functional and effective local authority that collects gabbage and cleans the CBD. If the councils were doing their job, this issue of waste management would have been properly resolved and policed. However, the new dawn govt has chosen to use street vending as a scape goat for their failed systems in the councils.

We want to remind the Zambian people that recently the very council overnight ambushed mobile booth operators under the same guise of cleanliness, they destroyed the booths the very way they have destroyed peoples makeshift stands. What happened thereafter, we are told is the booths are going missing at the storage site which is a scandal in itself. Similarly they have destroyed makeshift stands, which form part of the capital for vendors without any means of recompense. Yet they still expect the very people to go and pay the council for the stands in the markets. One would wonder this kind of thinking?

Lastly we want to tell the Zambian people that, President Hakainde Hichilema and his elitist policies has betrayed the Voters and he will do it again, NOT because the UPND enjoys it, but it is because that’s their nature.

We know so because President Hichilema and UPND betrayed all of those traders who gave them a winning vote during the elections. They are now siding with the IMF, succumbing to their pressure. The Zambian people believed UPND when they promised them that Mealie Meal prices will be reduced to K50, they believed them when they promised they would protect the Vendors. Their praise singers defended them when everyone knew that they were just mocking the Zambian people, today Mr Hakainde Hichilema has repaid the vendors and generally the Zambian people with a stab worthy of a calculated betrayer.

The next cities to be ambushed are on the COPPERBELT, KITWE being the first. Instead of resolving the mining sector’s self inflicted problems, which are more important to the people of the Copperbelt who gave them a vote. President HH and the UPND, are at it again like the vile cheap mercenaries they are, have sold the Zambian people to the lowest bidder – their friends and sponsors. The UPND is a mercenary organisation full of unpatriotic citizens whose time of reckoning will soon come.

Hon. Raphael NAKACINDA, MCC.


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