TRADERS and drivers at Lusaka’s City Market have appealed to the newly elected mayor Wilson Kalumba to depoliticise the markets and bus stations in the city.
The traders and the bus drivers charged that most stations and markets had been taken over by cadres from the ruling party.
They complained that it was difficult for them to conduct business from a politicised environment especially for those not in support of the ruling party.
Grace Chikandula a trader at the market complained that the cadres made work difficult as they demanded a lot of money from the traders.
Ms. Chikandula said that there was need for the new mayor to address the issue so that cadres were kept away from peoples’ businesses.
She said that interference in market operations by the cadres was affecting the flow of business.
Ms. Chikandula feared that failure to depoliticise the markets would lead to people losing businesses.
“We are making an earnest appeal to the newly elected mayor to take the issue of politicised markets seriously because a lot of people are suffering because of the same matter and if it is not sorted out in time, a lot of businesses are going to be affected,” she said.
And Michael Nkandu, a driver at city market bus station, complained that it was not easy to work in an environment that was being run by cadres.
Mr. Nkandu said that most people especially those not in favour of the ruling party were disadvantaged because they were always mistreated.
He said bus station operations were a responsibility of the council and should not be left in the hands of political cadres.
“It is very important for us as drivers to work independently regardless of the political party that one supports. Zambia is a democratic country and people have the right to support any political party of their choice without being intimidated or threatened”, he said.
And Mr. Kalumba has pledged to depoliticise any market or bus stations that was being run by political party cadres.
He said it was not every cadre that was in the market to interfere with people’s business because there were some who also owned businesses there.-Millennium Radio 90.5FM