18 Mar 2014 12:30pm
CHOTO, 18 MAR (NAMPA) - A new privately-owned open market will start operating at the Choto informal settlement on the outskirts of Katima Mulilo in the Zambezi Region on Wednesday.
It will accommodate the high number of street vendors currently conducting their business around Katima Mulilo, mainly in front of shops.
The Choto informal settlement is one of the most densely-populated informal settlements at the town.
The open market, which was constructed on a 2 500-square metre piece of land, will complement the existing Katima Mulilo Open Market owned by the town council.
Once the new open market opens for business, it will accommodate a total of 280 vendors, who will be running various businesses.
Any liquor-related business activities will, however, not be allowed.
The owner of the Choto Open Market and Complex, Hisham Ahmed told Nampa on Tuesday that the idea to construct a private open market came after he noticed an increased number of street vendors conducting their business in front of shops and supermarkets.
The street hawkers suffer as they have to carry their goods from their homes to the shops on foot, while others pay to have their goods transported.
Ahmed said this prompted him to construct a decent, hygienic shelter which the vendors could operate from.
The prominent Katima Mulilo businessman indicated that interest from street vendors wanting to operate from the open market had been overwhelming, as it is already fully-booked.
Some 120 vendors who could not secure space have been placed on a waiting list.
The street vendors who will be operating from the open market will pay a monthly fee of N.dollars 300.
Ahmed called on other established business people at Katima to plough back into the community, and not just concentrate on making profits.
The Choto Open Market and Complex was constructed at a cost of N.dollars 3 million, and will be equipped with alarm systems and surveillance cameras.
According to Ahmed, the second phase of the open market will include a double-storey building consisting of 32 offices for Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), while the third phase will have a conference room, gym and supermarket.
The open market will be officially opened by Zambezi Regional Governor Lawrence Sampofu on Wednesday.