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Vendors bemoan harsh police treatment

Street vendors who sell their products in front of Shoprite in Windhoek’s Central Business District have bemoaned treatment they get from the Windhoek City Police.

The vendors have alleged that the law enforcers have been constantly harassing them by constantly taking possession of their products,  most of which the reportedly never receive back.

The group also noted that they have since been moved from their location at the entrance of Shoprite to a remote spot in town.

According to the vendors, this new spot does not have good traffic for their business, which makes it unprofitable.

One of the vendors, Naftali Nghiyola said he is an elderly man with deteriorating health conditions but is made to sell his products under the harsh sun in the open at the new spot.

“We understand that the city fathers want to keep the city clean and make it attractive to visitors. But of what good will that be if the majority of people in your city are poor and unable to afford a basic meal. It’s people’s lives we dealing with here,” he noted.

Other vendors with him are Indiana !Kharuxas, Uatonua Jahana, Fernando Eduardo and Ester Shilongo.

Shilongo is among those who were arrested last month and spent a night in police holding cells for trading at undesignated spots.

“It appears that some of us who are working with our own hands to feed our families are not appreciated. It seems one should steal or kill people instead to be treated well, which is not fair,” Shilongo said.

Julia Heita

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