KABWE Municipal Council should find better ways of dealing with traders than trashing their merchandise and trading booths.
It is sad for any trader to lose their goods through a council raid which is not heralded by a notice.
Notwithstanding the fact that the traders had been warned from as far back as last year, to put their houses in order, we still think the council ought to have warned them to secure their goods.
Ample notice is necessary in any public action, even if legally, the council may not have been obliged to do so.
Due consideration must be given to the welfare of ordinary people who have invested their life savings into their small businesses or tutembas.
It is equally baffling that even someone who had formalised his business with the council, could have his booth taken down and his goods confiscated.
What possible explanation can the council give for that?
On the other hand, we also sympathise with the council efforts to keep the town clean as well as ensuring compliance of all business entities.
Traders who ignore directives from the council, only have themselves to blame.
There is a good reason for the council demanding that businesses be formalised. The council has to account for all the businesses operating in the town. It is not in the business of providing charity but ensuring that it generates enough revenue from the local businesses through levies.
This is the reason that the local authorities would demand that all businesses be registered and details availed to the council.
It is important that the council can account for all businesses because it is the local authority that has to keep the town clean.
It is unfortunate that some traders lost their goods, however, this is a matter that can easily be resolved.
We doubt that the council throws away the goods seized. We believe that the seized goods are stored safely and can be reclaimed by the owners upon payment of whatever fine the council demands for those found to have engaged in business illegally.
That is the more reason that a stakeholder meeting would be desirable.