HUNDREDS of Kitwe vendors on Monday conducted a peaceful protest after the council removed them from the streets where they had been trading.
The decision angered the vendors who started blocked the access road to the city council offices.
The council removed the vendors from Pick n Pay, Shoprite and Salvation Army in the CBD.
The angry vendors wondered why the local authority had decided to remove them from the streets without giving them any warning or grace period.
The vendors said their sudden removal would greatly affect their operations and their day-to-day livelihoods.
“Why can’t the council give us time to plan? Why did they not even give us a notice that we will be removed? This is so unfair,” said Mary Mwape, one of the affected vendors.
She asked the local authority to consider allowing them to conduct their business in the said areas from 15:00 hours to 20:00 hours.
But Kitwe City Council town clerk Mbulo Seke said the decision to remove vendors from unauthorized places had not been made abruptly.
He explained that last year, the vendors were asked to find alternative trading places.
Seke said the only place that had been authorized for vending was Chisokone one way.
“We started engaging the vendors last year and they are fully aware of this decision. In Chisokone one way, they were only allowed to operate from 17 hours so as to give room for marketers in Chisokone market to conduct their business during the day without any interference,” he said.
Police were called upon to disperse the vendors who gathered at the council offices.