THE Presidential Empowerment Initiative Fund (PEIF) is to empower more than 16,000 marketeers and vendors between September 20, 2016 and January 2017, Patron of Marketeers and Vendors Chanda Kabwe has said.
Mr Kabwe said the PEIF was a non-political initiative and was now set to shame its critics by spreading its wings and ensuring that it was more refined to continue serving the interests of the marketeers and vendors.
He said, in an interview in Kitwe yesterday, that the PEIF had to slow down its operations ahead of the August 11 elections because the opposition UPND, in its usual way of crying and complaining, thought the Initiative was a campaign strategy for the ruling PF.
“We stopped or slowed down the programme because the UPND thought it was a campaign programme, but even after we stopped the PEIF, we walloped them on August 11 because Zambians love PF and President Lungu.
“Now, we are just waiting for the inauguration of President Lungu. After that, we are going to empower more than 16,000 marketeers and vendors between 20, 2016 and January 2017,” Mr Kabwe said.
And some Marketeers and Vendors in Kitwe have advised UPND leader Hakainde Hichilema and Geoffrey Bwalya Mwamba (GBM) to graciously concede defeat, instead of moving from one court to the other seeking the nullification of President Lungu who was legitimately elected republican President on August 11.
The marketeers, who on August 23 demanded to know when President Edgar Lungu would be inaugurated as republican President following his re-election on August 11, said they were happy that the matter was put to rest by the Constitutional Court on Monday this week.
One of the marketeers, Florence Chilufya, said as far as marketeers were concerned President Lungu was duly elected republican President after beating UPND leader Hakainde Hichilema in the August 11 elections and he should be given space to work.
“Mr Hichilema and his friends GBM and former Pastor Nevers Mumba should leave President Lungu to work. He was legitimately elected. Mr Hichilema took the matter to court and a lot of things were on a standstill. Our businesses have equally been affected.
“So now, Hakainde ‘asele tubombeko’ meaning now Hakainde should give us space to work. He is exhibiting selfishness of the worst order where he wants to do anything to become republican President. Such people are very dangerous,” Ms Chilufya said.