Lusaka Province Minister Bowman Lusambo says vendors aren’t patriotic, that’s why they would rather trade from the streets instead of operating from multiple available markets.

And Lusambo has warned that those who want to politic in the streets will not succeed.

Meanwhile, Lusambo says there will be no more demolition of mobile money booths because his office and the council have engaged the service providers.

In an interview, Lusambo lamented that some vendors were still operating from the streets despite government building and renovating some markets.

“You know the issue of street vending in Lusaka is a problem for all of us [and] not only for me as Lusaka Province Minister but even these people who are trading in the streets are a problem. We are trying by all means to protect them from the situation we went through last time of cholera and all that and when cholera comes, it won’t even choose to say ‘this is a street vendor or this is who] it will wipe all of them. Apart from that, we want to maintain our cities, we want our cities to look neat. As the government of His Excellency Mr Edgar Chagwa Lungu, we have invested a lot of money in putting up new markets and renovating other markets [but] the problem which we have [is that] the people we have in the streets are not patriotic to this country, they don’t know why they exist in this country, to them they exist to sell in the streets, no,” Lusambo said.

“We have markets which are available, we have markets in our constituencies, we have markets in our CBD (Central Business Districts) and surely you can’t trade in those markets, and you [just] want to be trading in the streets? And for us as Lusaka Province we have resolved [that] we will move in and cleanup Lusaka and we won’t even look on the faces of these street vendors. We will move all of them from our streets.”

He warned those politicking on the streets that they would not succeed.

“And we would want to also urge those people who want to bring politics in the streets, we should not be doing politics in the streets, let us do politics on the political arena. And political arena is by giving the people what they want by giving the good manifesto like the one which we have. And anyone who wants to bring politics in the streets will not succeed. For us as Lusaka province we will move in and clean up Lusaka. And we are just waiting for the time which we have planned to move in and make sure that…[but] all street vendors will move,” he said.

And asked why he allowed the Lusaka City Council (LCC) to demolish 2,700 mobile money booths in Lusaka, Lusambo said the issue was water under the bridge because the service providers were still being engaged.

“That one is water under the bridge because we had a meeting with the service providers and Lusaka City Council and my office and I think we are moving very well. That thing is not there,” said Lusambo.