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Chipata police arrest 12 street vendors for resisting to relocate

POLICE in Chipata have arrested 12 street vendors trading outside Saturday Market for resisting to relocate.

A combined team of Zambia Police and council police are patrolling Saturday Market area to ensure vendors do not get back to the streets.

Acting Eastern Province police commanding officer Davis Simwanza said the vendors have been charged with conduct likely to cause breach of peace.

“These people were trying to resist and to incite other people. Those who admit the charge will pay admission of guilty [fine] but those who will deny will be taken to court,” Simwanza said.

He said the suspects were detained on Thursday.

The city council’s move to forcibly move in and remove the vendors followed expiry of the ultimatum that was given to the traders.

After realising that the issue of the vendors was getting out of hand due to political interference, the council engaged Eastern Province minister Peter Phiri to help resolve the matter.

The local authority then gave the vendors a seven-day ultimatum to relocate.

A check at the market on Thursday revealed that the affected portion had no vendors while Zambia Police and council police officers were busy patrolling the area.

The move to remove the vendors has excited the traders from Saturday Market.

Loveness Kumwenda said the removal of the street vendors would help the council to collect good revenue.

Kumwenda urged the council to make sure that the vendors do not get back to the street.

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