SANFROSSA MANYINDA writes
LUSAKA street vendors have complained of harassment at the hands of Lusaka City Council police officers who beat them and openly eat their confiscated foodstuffs.
They said some of the seized merchandise was shared among the same council officials without any sense of shame.
One street vendor Grace Banda,44, complained to the Lusaka Sun that the officers beat them up using whips made from used tyres after grabbing them by their backs. “They beat us up before sharing and eating the merchandise they confiscate from us,” she said
Ms Banda said she and her friends were found selling their merchandise on Chandwe Musonda Road last Saturday where they met their fate. “They roughed us up as though we were not their fellow human beings. They then grabbed us from behind. When we pleaded with them to return our merchandise, they told us that is what we voted for and should endure everything,” she said.
The single mother of 4 said that government should endeavour to provide all marketeers with trading spaces so that none of them were found on streets.
Ms Banda complained that she paid rentals, put food on the table for her kids and took them to school using the same business that gave her at least K80 to K200 a day.
She also complained that their phones were confiscated as the officers feared they would be captured in their barbaric acts.
Council public relations manager George Sichimba could not be immediately reached for a comment