ONDANGWA – The Mayor of Ondangwa Paavo Amwele has spoken out against the assault of defenceless street vendors at the hands of hired security personnel at the town.
Amwele, a businessman, said he will not watch on idly as street vendors, particularly women, being beaten up for trying to make an income to provide for their families.
“I have nothing against council clearing the streets of illegal street vendors, but I do not see why we have to hire security guards with the people’s own money just so that they could beat them up,” said Amwele.
“These people have already been hit hard by poverty; now we are having them beaten up again. It is not right. Remove them from the streets, but do not beat them,” Amwele said further.Amwele was speaking at a council meeting on Wednesday.
In addition to the assault, Amwele was further disgruntled by the confiscation of the vendors’ goods.
“Their food items are thrown out and sometimes their goods are confiscated and brought to the council to be charged N$1 300 to get them back, which is not even the value of the goods that they were selling. Is that really fair?” the mayor asked fellow councillors.
Amwele said while council is pushing the street vendors from the street, it also does not have sufficient trading space for all the vendors at the town.
He thus recommended to council that it allows vendors who have previously been registered at their various trading spaces to continue trading while a lasting solution is being hammered out.
He said it was not right for people to be denied an income.
Popular Democratic Movement (PDM) councillor at the town council Johannes Martin suggested that some areas at the town be revamped for use as temporary shelter for the vendors.
One such area, Martin recommended, is the Trade Fair Centre at the town.
Martin also appealed to the office bearers to identify and register all street vendors at the town to ensure smooth planning in the future.