CHINA Hainan (Z) Ltd has continued to charge rentals in dollars in defiance of Government’s directive that all firms trading in Zambia should quote their goods and services in Kwacha.
China Hainan has since more than trebled the rentals for their shops in Kamwala to about K22 000 per month.
The company, which owns the Kamwala Market commonly known as Luburma Market in Lusaka is adamant that it would continue charging its tenants in dollars owing to the depreciation of the Kwacha.
The Chinese company owns the Kamwala shops on a 65 year lease agreement which is said to be against the provisions of the law on lease agreements.
Tenants are now up in arms with the firm and want government to intervene as rentals had soared to four times what they were paying before the company decided to start charging them in dollars.
Luburma Market Tenants vice secretary Shamende Chalwe told the Daily Nation in an interview yesterday that the situation had almost become unbearable for them as rentals were gobbling the better part of their investment.
“The situation at this market is almost becoming unbearable now because we are overcharged as a result of this company quoting its rentals in dollars despite government’s directive that transactions should be in the local currency. Right now, some shops are costing as high as K22, 000 per month and that is about three to four times the previous rate,” Mr. Chalwe said.
He appealed to government to get to the bottom of the development and come up with punitive measures to protect the citizens since it was now clear that the company did not have any regard for authority.
“It is also disheartening to note how China Hainan keeps on defying the government directives to stop charging rentals in the foreign currency. This directive was personally given to China Hainan by Honourable Mwanakatwe during her visit to Lubarma Market.
Meanwhile, Mr. Chalwe has appealed to government to review the 65-year lease agreement with the company over the marketing saying that there was no point in putting Luburma Market on lease over such a long period of time as it would have been in a dilapidated state in 65 years, which will not benefit Zambians in any way.
China Hainan (Z) Ltd could not be reached immediately for a comment.