A number of informal traders staged a demonstration at Katima Mulilo this week and demanded that they be allowed to sell their products on the streets again.

The street vendors marched to the Zambezi Regional Council under the banner of the Native Small Traders Association and handed over a petition to regional governor Lawrence Sampofu.

“All businesses have opened up except street vending during the new normal, though vendors are ready to comply with health measures and Covid-19 regulations.

It is disappointing for Namibians doing vending businesses to suffer arrests, evictions from vending spaces and confiscation of their products, making them poorer than ever and adding on unemployment,” the vendors said in their petition.

“Vending is a profession like any other office in this country, so it needs to be legalised but not to be regarded as a lunatic movement.

Why are municipalities and town councils failing to see that the vending businesses are boosting their local economies? There is no country on earth that has built markets to accommodate every vendor in its jurisdictions, that is why street vending is found both in developed and developing countries.

Preventing vending is a crime, so we need to manage it and authorise it, why should it be restricted?” The vendors also urged government to relax its laws and allow vendors to resume business as soon as possible.

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