Local Government Minister Charles Banda says vendors who are trading outside the stipulated hours risk being pounced on as they will be working outside his directive to allow vending only from 16:00 hours to 20:00 hours.

On Saturday, the Minister directed the Lusaka City Council (LCC) to allow street vending along Lumumba Road from Duly Motors to Westgate Shopping Mall, attributing the decision to complaints that Simon Mwewa Lane could not accommodate all vendors that were displaced following the ban on the vice.

But a check by News Diggers! revealed that some were seen conducting their businesses as early as 06:00 hours in the morning.

Reacting to this in an interview, Banda said his Ministry would only be responsible for their trade within the stipulated hours.

“We are responsible for their trade from 16:00 to 20:00 hours, anything without that is outside our jurisdiction. The Council have got guidelines of what can be sold and what cannot be sold. For us, right now, it is policy direction that we have permitted street vending along Lumumba Road from near Westgate up to Duly Motors, that is our responsibility, and we are saying 16:00 to 20:00 hours. The rest, the Council will enforce; what should be sold, what should not be sold that is now the Council to regulate. They have SI’s, which give direction to that,” Banda said.

And he said sanitation services had been put in place to allow trading in stipulated areas.

“Yes, because we were there. We even saw some toilets, which have been put there; they are fee-paying toilets, of course, but that is good enough for everybody and we believe that if we didn’t have such facilities, we were not going to allow,” said Banda.

Efforts to get a comment from the LCC proved futile as spokesperson George Sichimba’s phone went unanswered by press time.