Vendors protest

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MASERU — Vendors who were operating at Thibella bus stop in Maseru are up in arms against the Maseru City Council (MCC) after they were ordered to either remove their stalls or face eviction.

The vendors complied with the order and removed their stalls on Monday. They were relocated to Lepoqong, a few metres south of the Thibella.

The vendors complained that business was poor at Lepoqong.

The vendors told the Lesotho Times this week that the decision to evict them from the bus stop area would leave them struggling to raise money for food and school fees for their children.

The vendors said they received letters from the MCC on November 15 warning them to vacate the place by November 28.

The vendors said the warning period was too short and had seriously affected their plans for the Christmas holiday.

“We were informed about this at short notice. We needed more time as most of us are bread winners in our families,” said Mapaseka Ramakau, one of the vendors.

“We have not yet bought clothes and food for our children.

“In January our children would be expecting school uniforms and books but how are we going to buy these?”

“I had to throw away the food I had cooked since no one came to buy from me,” she said.

MCC spokesperson, Lintle Moerane, said the vendors were not allowed to use the place as a market place.

“That piece of land was left vacant when Sefika bus stop was constructed. These people decided to turn that place into a marketplace without our knowledge,” Moerane said.

“They were running illegal public bars and street vendors are not licensed to sell alcohol,” she said.

“Some of those shacks were turned into brothels. They were not authorised to use that place in the first place.”

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