By Simon Liseli
STREET vendors in Katima Mulilo received their food parcels from the Office of the Prime Minister, under the Regional Emergency Management Unit for Zambezi on Tuesday.
A total of one thousand one hundred and eight-eight (1188) street vendors those trading at Ngweze Open Market and in the streets of Katima Mulilo have benefited from the program.
The food parcels are part of assistance for COVID-19 in Zambezi Region that included one (1) bag of maize meal and four (4) canned fish. The donations of food parcels are being received through Katima Mulilo Urban Constituency office.
Katima Mulilo town has six hundred and two (602) street vendors and five hundred and eight-six (586) those selling on town council stands in Ngweze Open Market. Ninety-five percent (95%) of the recipients were women.
A-39-year-old vendor Ms.Grace Namasiku Mbukusa who has been on streets for 12-years described the program as unjust and it is not enough to her side when compared to how she lived for the past years as a vendor.
“Maybe if it could be monthly to the time when the situation of COVID-19 will be normal we could survive by that way because am not alone, I have four kids that am feeding and they want other daily needs that need money like soap, washing powder and so on. I would rather say a 10kg is nothing it won’t take me any where with my kids” lamented Namasiku.
She added that as a street vendor she used to make a profit of N$1500 per month where she buys a 25kg of maize meal, electricity, water and other staffs to keep her family surviving.
“The council should at least build a market for us street vendors or allow us to continue with small businesses we have in streets”.
A fresh vegetable seller Ms.Beauty Muketela aged (32) who survived on her business for the past five years said, she counts the food parcels received as not anything important as her business she used to do on streets because the parcels are once off benefit adding that a 10kg maize meal lasts only for four days with her family.
“Am used in buying a 25kg bag of maize meal to sustain my family, for now since we were chased out of the streets our lives have changed we appeal and bagging to be allowed to go back on streets because we need a lot to keep ourselves surviving”Ms.Mukela furthers.
Mr. Michael Mwambwa Mwakamui a 43year-old man said his life has changed since they were stopped from their small businesses on streets, he partly commends the government for the food parcels they received though its not enough and appeals the government to allow them to return back on streets for their survival.
“As street vendors we are proud because we are trying to sustain our selves without waiting for employment from anybody. Laws that have been put in place like social distancing we will follow them once back on the street and we are just few vendors here in Katima” concluded Mr.Mwakamui.