PF may lose in 2021 because of its treatment of street vendors

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YALI governance advisor Isaac Mwanza has warned the ruling Patriotic Front to be careful how it approaches street vending issues in the run up to the  2021 general elections as it may affect the party’s performance.

Mwanza said the management of street vending by the Lusaka City Council (LCC) is placing the governing party at risk losing the elections.

“PF must tread very carefully with its Lusaka stronghold because it soon may slip away and the 2021 election may just be a confirmation of how it was lost. The reasons will not be because the opposition would have campaigned heavily but because the Lusaka City Council is helping you to become unpopular among street vendors – a key group of majority voters that has helped the PF to maintain Lusaka as a stronghold,” Mwanza said in a statement made available to the media on June 22.

“I have sung this song time and again that President Lungu must put a Political Advisory team in addition to Economic Advisory team because certain matters require an honest political discourse to arrive at political solutions that favour both the people and the country. One such matter is the plight of street vendors and the quest to keep Lusaka clean.”

Mwanza said in politics, no one wants to lose a stronghold. He gave examples of Hillary Clinton and the MMD who he says lost elections despite being popular.

“LCC has pushed street vendors to limits that are now unbearable. Street vendors are a people who dont take pride to go sell in the street but their have families to care for; they have bills to pay and putting food on the table for their families is not as easy in 2019. Street vendors don’t want to wait for political donations or mealie meal, cooking oil, kapenta, sugar. They raise their own little capital and work hard, in the scotching sun or in very cold weather to care for their families,” he said.

“The continued harassment, detention of street vendors, confiscation of their goods and those with trading licenses just add more salt to pain these informal traders are doing. Politically, this is damaging to the Presidency to Edgar C. Lungu and future support of the PF. LCC must be told to stop this harassment and focus on how these vendors can trade in an orderly manner while focusing on their contributions to keeping the City clean.”

Mwanza said the LCC Police have become no different from the Vigilantes  under KK’s one party State.  He said even the goods they confiscate and share among yourselves after the magistrate disposes them,  he warned that it must be known that the move is causing political damage that may never be repairs at all.

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Start: 2019-07-01 End: 2019-07-31