OMUTHIYA - Kapana vendors at Omuthiya are up in arms over the trading conditions under the current stage 2 post-lockdown period.
The vendors are questioning gazetted regulations, which allows them only to sell meat products prepared at home and not at their respective stalls. The vendors say it is not sustainable for their type of business, as customers preferred roasted fresh meat. Based on that, a group consisting of more than 12 traders, have tried to reason and seek recourse with the town council to allow them to trade like before where they had to roast meat at the open market.
However, the authorities vehemently rejected the proposal because of the set rules and regulations. “This model is not viable for us, as no customer would want to eat kapana which is cold.
Normally, our clients prefer warm roasted meat of which they choose the type themselves. Some of us even come from the villages and there is no electricity. Therefore, where will you store the leftovers?” said a distressed Euginia Hikufe. She also added that they normally purchase the meat in town for selling at the open market.
Thus, she said, it does not make economical sense for them to return to their villages and back to town again with cooked or roasted meat to sell at the market.
“This requires money and it will be a burden for us when hiking back and forth. What we are asking is to be allowed to have our stands on which we can roast, we are willing to erect up to standard ones, while we will also conform to social distancing. As it stands now, this operation does not benefit us in any way,” stressed another vendor Triphain Mhonda.
The group appealed to the minister of urban and rural development to relook the guidelines so that it can present a collective benefit for all. “Our meat will be spoiled, they are allowing us to work on a loss. In the end when a customer gets sick after eating the meat, it will be turned against us that omatala vendors are poisoning clients.
These are things we do not want to happen, thus it can only be avoided if we are given an opportunity to operate in a good standard,” added Selma Iithindi. Meanwhile, the local authority only promised to look into the matter, insisting that their hands are tied and therefore cannot act contrary to what is stipulated in the gazetted regulations.
There are 168 informal traders operating at the open market, while another group is allowed to operate under a tree and another near the state hospital.