The Lusaka Fast Track Court has convicted 40 people for engaging in street vending and buying goods from undesignated places.

In a statement, Lusaka City Council (LCC) acting public relations manager George Sichimba stated that the victims were apprehended by a combined team of LCC Public Health Inspectors, Council Police and State Police from the central business district and Kamwala trading areas.

“The apprehended vendors were handed over to the Legal Department of LCC for prosecution in the Fast Track Court resulting in the convictions. Some vendors have been attempting to go back to the streets of Kamwala and CBD after the withdrawal of defence forces two weeks ago. Out of the 40 convictions 37 were convicted for engaging in street vending contrary to the Statutory Instrument (SI) No. 10 of 2018 Regulation 9. Regulation 9 states that ‘Sale of local produce in any street or place, other than a market established by the Council, except with the permission of the Council attracts penalties of K5,000 for food items and K3,333.33 for any other items. Two people were convicted for wrong display of merchandise. The affected traders were found displaying goods out side their shops,” Sichimba stated.

“The emerging practice of displaying goods outside shops by some traders/shop owners is not in any way different from street vending. Shop owners/traders should restrict their businesses inside the shops as shop corridors are public properties which should be used by any member of the public without restrictions. One person was convicted for buying goods from undesignated place contrary to Regulation 46 of SI No. 10 of 2018. Regulation 46 states that ‘Buying goods or merchandise from the undesignated place or street attracts a penalty of K666.67’.”

He warned that the law would not spare Lusaka residents in the habit of buying from street vendors.

“Residents of Lusaka should realise that the SI 10 of 2018 on control of street vending and other nuisances has also restricted people from buying goods or merchandise from undesignated places or street. Therefore, people who are in a habit of buying goods from vendors should be aware that the law will not spare them if found wanting,” stated Sichimba.