Street vendors riot in Ndola

STREET vendors in Ndola yesterday clashed with Police and council security personnel who attempted to remove them from trading on the streets.
This follows the elapse of the one-week ultimatum issued to traders by Ndola City Council (NCC) to stop conducting business on the streets.
Business came to a standstill on the southern part of town when most traders closed their shops for safety.
The angry vendors set tyres on fire on the roads and blocked passages with stones and logs on Chisokone Avenue and Blantyre road near Shoprite chain stores.
Police in the company of council workers patrolled the town to ensure that no property was damaged by the street vendors, who also resorted to stoning state security.
Motorists in town panicked and had to use alternative roads for their safety.
Police fired teargas canisters to disperse the angry vendors, who kept regrouping to block other roads.
A Daily Mail team that rushed to the scene found Fire Brigade officers putting out the fire on Chisokone Avenue near Mulungushi bus station and Chisokone market.
NCC public relations manager Roy Kuseka, who was in the central business district, said the council held a meeting with all stakeholders and the vendors were also represented.
“During the meeting a fortnight ago, we gave a one week ultimatum for all street vendors to relocate to designated trading places,” he said.
Mr Kuseka said the one-week ultimatum elapsed yesterday.
He said the police and council security were deployed in town around 05:00 hours to keep vendors away.
Mr Kuseka said the vendors grouped and rioted following their removal from the streets.
Ndola mayor Davies Chiwala, who is Mushili councillor, during his inauguration in October called on vendors to relocate to designated trading places.
And Copperbelt Police deputy commanding officer Milner Muyambango said it was a council operation and police were called in to provide back-up.
Mr Muyambango said one person were reported to have been injured and police are investigating the matter.

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