Market smashed in Zambia 'clean-up'

Zambian police have demolished makeshift street stalls in Lusaka, as part of what the government says is a drive to "clean up" the streets of the capital.

Market smashed in Zambia 'clean-up'

Zambianpolice have demolished makeshift street stalls in Lusaka, as part of what the government saysis a drive to "clean up" the streets of the capital.

Vendorswatched as police used sledgehammers to tear down "illegal" stallsand destroy goods, in scenes reminiscent of a similar drive in Zimbabwe almosttwo years ago.


"Thecouncil gave out notices to all the traders well in advance," said WinfredMwale, a Luska council official.

Thepolice were sent in after most street vendors ignored a governmentultimatum, which ended on March 14, refusing to dismantle their stalls andmove on.


"Ithink we started three months or six months ago, advising them and warning themto move out of these illegal structures and to demolish them on their own, sothat at least they can salvage something," Mwale said.

Luska'susually bustling Cha Cha Cha road will now stand empty for the first time inyears, but the demolitions have angered many of the capital's poor, who reliedon the street markets for their livelihoods.

Theyaccuse the government of taking away what little they had.

"Whyshould they go to the poor people only?" one street trader asked.

"Whyshould they get the little things that we have? They have millions, renting thebig shops there. The market belongs to the poor people."

TheZambian government says it plans to extend its clean-up operation acrossthe country and will demolish illegal and unplanned homes.

It hasalready begun to destroy temporary dwellings in Lusaka's slums.

Theenforced demolitions echo a similar programme that took place in Zimbabwe under the instruction of Robert Mugabe,Zimbabwe'spresident, in 2005.


Anestimated 700,000 people across the country lost their homes and livelihoods asthe authorities evicted families and demolished slum dwellings.

Zimbabwe's government said that all thestructures destroyed in Operation Murambatsvina were "illegal".

But theUN condemned the programme in Zimbabwe,and the UN Commission on Human Rights has said forced evictions amount to"a gross violation of human rights".



Güncelleme Tarihi: 20 Eylül 2018, 18:16