KATIMA MULILO - Vendors in the Zambezi region who incurred huge revenue losses due to the state of emergency will be allowed to resume operations.
Some of them such as the Katima Mulilo Open Market is set to reopen today if everything goes as planned.
Markets in the region like elsewhere in the country were closed due to the extension and amendment of the State of Emergency Act 9 of 2020 effected from 17th April 2020.
According to the mayor of Katima Mulilo Town Council Charles Matengu, only Katima Mulilo Open Market may be open today or tommorow or the following week after they receive authorisation from the Ministry of Health and Social Services.
“Markets such as Chotto, Cowboy as well as Pasela will remain closed until we thoroughly clean and sanitise them. Some vendors will be allowed to sell with strict measures in compliance with the state of emergency, these new measures include two entrances as well as two exits into the market. Sanitising will be done at the entrance as well as at each stand inside the market. Only 30 people at a time will be allowed to enter,” explained the town mayor.
“Vendors selling cooked food such as porridge will be required to wear face masks, as covid-19 can be transmitted through droplets,” he stated.
“Vendors who sell along the streets within the region will not be allowed to sell but will be accommodated within the three markets. They will also be given permits in order to be able to identify themselves and be traceable in case anything happens,” he said.
Those selling clothing, wood carvings as well as hair salons will not be allowed to operate at the moment until the state of emergency is lifted.
Renovations at the Katima Mulilo open market are scheduled to take place at a later stage. Governor of Zambezi Lawrence Sampufo advised vendors to ensure they acquire protective, transparent face masks not just to protect others but to able to protect themselves while maintaining social distancing at all times. He cautioned the spreading of false information particularly on social media should stop, as everyone has the right to factual information on the virus.
However, some members of the public complained about the closure of some places which they feel are part of essential services such as places that provide car services, as they are not able to service their vehicles in cases of an emergency.
The chief regional officer Regina Ndopu- Lubinda further reiterated the reopening of the market will only take place once health standards are met and authorisation is given.
She praised the police for ensuring measures under the state of emergency are adhered to.