Maseru – Street vendors working near the Market area behind Sefika shopping complex today suddenly found their shacks removed and some stock taken away by Maseru City Council (MCC) authorities.
MCC said they had a court authorising them to clear vendors who were unlawfully distracting some premises.
Recalling the event, Thabiso Ts’otleho, one of the affected street vendors told Public Eye Online that he woke up getting ready for work excitedly like any other day but when he got to his workplace, he found his tiny shack destroyed and his stock being put in a van with numerous armed policemen milling around.
“I could not believe my eyes when I saw that happening; it was almost like a dream. To think that things were normal yesterday and there was not even a sign that this would happen, I really could not believe it,” he said.
He further explained that unlike other instances where police talk to street vendors before acting forcefully, they were never warned of such a possibility therefore it really caught them by surprise. He further urged responsible authorities to allow them to get back to work since that is the only way in which they would be able to feed their families and stay alive.
“For some of us, this is the only work that we know and it is what puts bread on the table. We therefore plead with whoever is responsible for this to please allow us to get back to work or approach us in peace before taking such actions. If we are provided with a different work space, it will still be okay, as long as we are not prohibited from working,” he requested.
All attempts to hear the police side on this matter were not successful.