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Roma vendors begrudged

Oct. 3, 2019 2 min read

ROMA – Following their forced removal from along the National University of Lesotho (NUL) demarcation fence in Hata-butle a week ago, street vendors say they are yet to be accommodated at a proper site to do business.

The unpleasant sight of tents made of metal and soaring plastic shacks that had become a business hub along the NUL fence was cleared at the instruction of the Manonyane Community Council ahead of the university’s preparation for the past graduation ceremonies. One of the vendors ’Matitina Mosaase, said upon their eviction from the NUL vicinity they relocated to a premises in the neighbouring “where there is literally no business, the move has affected our business negatively as we do not make enough money”.

Mrs Mosaase said they erected their shacks along the fence after a busier exit gate at the campus was closed a few years ago.  She said they moved along the fence to be nearer to their customer, (students) who placed their food orders through the fence. “Our removal has, as a result, been to the detriment of struggling businesses because now students have go to the other side of the campus to buy food,” said Mrs Mosaase.

“We are about 300 metres from where we used to operate before and for students to place their orders they have to shout so that we can hear them. This negatively affects our business because instead of shouting they find it better to go to other people and therefore we run losses,” she added.

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She appealed to the council to allow them to return to their original trading places, saying they were prepared to reduce the sizes of their shacks so that they could look a bit decent. Mrs Mosaase continued to plead: “At least we are now required to pay rent as previously we did not pay anything”. On the other hand, the Hata-Butle Community Councillor, Thabang Selonyane, confirmed the vendors were moved at the instruction of the council and that they had sought refuge at a resident’s premises. 

Mr Selonyane admitted that this might have negatively affected the vendors’ business, especially because their trade place was a good distance from the campus’ main gate.  He added there was nothing the council could do to force the vendors to go back to their original place, indicating the place near the NUL fence also posed a traffic hazard as it was too close to the main road. “We will, however, locate a new site and facilitate its use by the vendors,” Mr Selonyane said. Manonyane Community Council is situated in the Roma Valley, about 40 kilometres East of Maseru. 


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