Katima street vendors cry foul over vending spots

By Simon Liseli

Katima Mulilo New Vending Spot

KATIMA Street vendors, who eke-out a living over small trade in the streets of Katima Mulilo, have strongly condemned the Katima Mulilo Town Council for removing them by force from their vending hot spots.

On Monday August 15, 2022.The Katima Mulilo Town Council (KMTC) swept out all street vendors in the town of Katima Mulilo,and relocated them to a new place found between Kamunu wholesalers and Pasela Mall ( hiking point for Masubia people) and others were moved to a hiking point for the Mafwe people near the Katima Sports Complex along Hage Geingob Street.

The concerned street vendors told Caprivi Vision that they are not happy and don’t want the place where the council forced them to relocate because it’s a station for people residing to the eastern part of the region. They added that the place doesn’t have water, shelter and toilets; and also not safe for both vendors and customers as accidents can occur at anytime.

A-42-year old vendor Ms. Nanvula Lilungwe who has been vending since 2015 said people are vending because of high rate of unemployment not only in Zambezi region but countrywide, adding that in some regions around the country people are vending but are not facing difficulties with their municipalities because they are doing that for their survivals.

“I am a graduate in education but no employment, how am I supposed to live if I can’t do vending to make my survival and my family? My applications for employment are on the governor’s table but nothing is happening, council should not interfere us on what we are doing otherwise they should employ us all to stop vending” she remarked.

Ms. Beatrice Mushabati (44) said she worked for fourteen (14) years in Pick ‘n’ Pay as a confectioner (making cakes), cashier and sales lady but lost her job due to COVID 19 that hit the world and She was retrenched with her other colleague.

She said, because of hard life she faced with her family she started vending on streets of Katima town for the survival of her family but the council chased them out of streets to a place that is not serviced.

“We are not refusing to go to places they are pursuing us but they should service these places or develop other big market that will accommodate us all, in some other regions around the country they have markets more than one (1) but still they are people who are vending, why can’t it happen like that here?” questioned Ms. Mushabati.

Some other members of Native Small Traders Association (NASTA) an association that represents vendors in Katima says they are not happy with strategies that are being taken by the council of removing them from their vending spots around town.

They added that the council should stop forcing shop owners to chase vendors on front of their shops where they are vending.

“Our survival is now in their hands because we have no other means of sourcing money to sustain ourselves and families, and some of us we are living with orphans whose parents passed away and are not even receiving a grant of N$250 which others receive, how are we going to survive with these kids if we don’t go on the street to sell what we have, because we are unemployed that is why we are vending to get something for these kids” lamented a member who opted to remain anonymous.

Contacted for feedback on the mater , Katima Mulilo Town Council Chief Executive Officer Mr. Raphael Liswaniso referred this reporter to the acting CEO Mr. Martin Lutangu “I don’t understand your point of question and am out of the region for two weeks now, call the acting CEO” explained Mr. Liswaniso.
Acting CEO was not in the office when reached for clarity, “He is out for the meeting” said the secretary to acting CEO.

The Chairperson of the Management Committee at the Katima Mulilo Town Council, Mr. John Ntemwa could not say anything when reached for comment rather said, “Am in a meeting now, sorry call the CEO” he hang up his mobile phone.

Mr. Chrispin Muyoba, Public Relations Officer of KMTC also refused to comment “I cannot tell anything on that issue because I was in Windhoek when it happened.

He referred all questions to Mr. Muhita Sinyimbo, the Head of Law Enforcement for Katima Council who declined to comment, and said he is not allowed to speak to the media, and he said that the removal of the street hawkers was mandated by the KMTC resolution passed by the Katima Mulilo Town Council with its local authority councillors.

Katima Mayor, His worship Lister Shamalaza was called several times, and later answered “Am in the field now I will come back to you later”






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