Opuwo vendors demand an official open market

16 Oct 2013 10:00am
OPUWO, 16 OCT (NAMPA) – Street vendors operating from the Epupa informal open market here are calling on the town council to demarcate an area for them to permanently operate from.
Raimundu Tjalimbwa is the chairperson of the committee of vendors which operates from the Epupa informal open market, and he told Nampa on Wednesday that they are disturbed by the way the town authorities are treating them when it comes to evictions.
“We are not given any notice, but just instructed to move away right away on the spot as if we are not doing business,” he charged.
Tjalimbwa explained that some vendors have been operating from the Epupa informal open market for over 15 years, but it seems as if they are not recognized as businesses which contribute to the economy of the town at all.
According to him, the town council sold the area where they are operating from to Agra.
Subsequently, without notification, the vendors were instructed last week Friday to move away from the area, and to look for other places where they could put up their stands.
“The Opuwo town council should not look down on us as we have houses in this town, while we buy electricity and water, do shopping here as well as use other services of the town,” stressed Tjalimbwa.
He said the town council should thus give them a place which they could call theirs and run their businesses from.
Meanwhile, town mayor Tuarungua Kavari said in response that the plot was indeed sold to Agra, and the vendors just had to make way for the fencing-off of the area by Agra.
Kavari said the town council has plans to construct a formal open market for the vendors in the near future so as to also accommodate all vendors at a regulated place.
There is currently no demarcated area where the vendors can be moved to until a formal open market is constructed, he added.
On his part, the chief executive officer of the Opuwo Town Council, Alfons Tjitombo told this agency that the informal vendors should rest assured that they would soon be accommodated at an official open market, which would be constructed as soon as funds promised by different institutions to the town council are availed.
According to him, the removal of the vendors was not going to be a concern today if the vendors had adhered to the town council’s instructions to only use structures which they could remove at the end of each day, like shadenets or the like.
However, Tjitombo said the vendors were putting up fixed structures like verandas made from grass or zinc plates.