The Patriotic Front (PF) leadership should stop the violent behaviour of its cadres to bring sanity in markets and bus stops, says the Forum for Democracy and Development (FDD).
But Lusaka Province PF youth Chairman Kennedy Kamba has said the PF has no intention of taking over the running and management of markets in Lusaka because the ruling party knows that it is the sole mandate of the Lusaka City Council (LCC) to manage the trading places in the city.
FDD spokesperson Antonio Mwanza said it was unfortunate that some PF cadres had become more important than law enforcement officers.
Mr. Mwanza said the issue of cadres being at loggerheads with police and other law enforcement agencies would continue as long as senior ruling party officials tolerated their behaviour.
“We have seen this trend of cadres undermining law enforcement agents by abrogating the law at their own wish. What happened at City market on Friday in the morning is not something new,” he said
But Mr Kamba disclosed that the violence that erupted between the traders and bus drivers at the City Market was as a result of deliberate misinformation allegedly peddled by some opposition political members who wanted the PF members who were traders and bus drivers to clash.
He said the PF was a party that strongly believed in the rule of law and could not usurp the mandate of the Lusaka City Council and take over the running and management of markets in the province.
Mr Kamba said the land over which the bus drivers and the traders clashed was part of Simson Building and that the Lusaka City Council had since taken over the stretch of land and was paving it to create trading space for the many traders on the streets.
He told the Sunday Nation that it was unfortunate that the traders and the bus drivers who were members of the PF could violently clash but revealed that he was aware that some traders had allegedly been sponsored by the United Party for National Development (UPND) to spread incorrect information among traders and bus drivers to cause confusion.
Mr Kamba explained that on the material day, UPND leader was scheduled to tour the market and some people deliberately spread false rumours that the traders were going to chase the drivers from the said location hence the clash between the two groups.
“The PF is a party that religiously respects the rule of law and we would never allow chaos to reign in the markets by attempting to take over the running and management of trading places in Lusaka. I wish to differ with Local Government and Housing Minister Dr John Phiri that we attempted to take over the running of markets. The truth is that there some people who have been hired by the opposition to deliberately misinforme the traders and bus drivers who are our members with the intention of inciting the two groups to engage in violence,” Mr Kamba said.