Lungu has turned against us, complain Chipata vendors
By Zindikilani Banda
WHEN asking for our vote, they were giving us items even at night but today Edgar Lungu and his team can rise against us and grab our merchandise during the day, complains a Chipata vendor.
Eliza Zulu, who was among 25 street vendors tear-gassed on Tuesday as police confiscated their merchandise, said they were surprised that President Lungu’s government had turned against them despite pleading for their vote last year.
On Tuesday, over 25 traders on the Malawi road confronted a combined team of council officers and Zambia Police, flaunting their merchandise which included tomatoes, cabbage and onions at the police vehicle that had come to displace them from the streets.
“Imwe mufuna tipite kuti? Tingapite liti kuli konse ife tidyela mumuseu mwamene muno, ivo vamene mukamba nivacabe cabe (Hey! Where do you want us to go? We can’t go anywhere…we feed our family from here),” shouted an unidentified female vendor.
The resistance from the women attracted the attention of passersby, resulting in the vehicle speeding away with the merchandise.
And in an interview, an irate Zulu said the vendors were surprised that President Lungu had turned against them.
“From the time PF won, we have been suffering at the hands of Mr Sinoya [Mwale] the mayor, as they always get our merchandise every day. Then when knocking off, we see them going home with our items to go and eat as if they are not working,” Zulu complained.
“During the campaign period, they came to us giving us items even at night but surely today Edgar and his team can rise against us, surely it’s a disappointment. From the time Edgar became President, things have become so bad and you saw that we have been tear-gassed and our items have been grabbed by the police and the council.”
She accused the government of not doing enough to address vendors’ concerns.
“This government is doing nothing to our problems, it doesn’t know the problems we are going through. We keep orphans; we educate our children, we find what to eat from the same vending and for them to come and teargas us as if we are criminals, it’s a curse. The mayor Sinoya Mwale , the district commissioner Kalunga Zulu and Chipata central MP Mosses Mawere are not doing anything. We have complained to them but all they say to us is that we move away,” said Zulu.
Earlier in the week, vendors from Kapata market were also chased from the streets.
They vowed never to give President Lungu a vote in 2021.