Friday, May 04, 2012

‘Donchi kubeba' marketeers defy relocation plans

‘Donchi kubeba' marketeers defy relocation plans
By Joseph Mwenda
Fri 04 May 2012, 14:00 CAT

TRADERS at the unauthorised ‘Donchi Kubeba Market' in Lusaka on Wednesday openly defied local government minister Professor Nkandu Luo and hurled insults against her for suggesting their relocation. And Lusaka mayor Daniel Chisenga says illegal structures such as the ‘Donchi Kubeba Market' were suffocating the city.

During her conducted tour of illegal structures in the city, Prof Luo who was in the company of her deputy Stephen Masumba and Chisenga, said traders at the market would soon be relocated to permanent structures elsewhere.

The traders had earlier warmly welcomed her, seemingly thinking she had some good news for them. The mood among the traders later changed when the minister started talking about relocation.

"We took some time to look at what alternatives we can give to the people who are trading at the ‘Donchi Kubeba Market'. We have finished doing our inventory and we do have a lot of space in the shops for people to go back in. We would like to relocate them to other markets within Lusaka, because that place is an eyesore. It is a health hazard in fact," said Prof Luo.

She observed that Lusaka had a lot of haphazard structures which needed re-organising.

But Prof Luo's call did not fall on obedient ears as traders reacted angrily and hurled insults at the minister and her delegation.

The traders who are believed to be PF supporters complained of victimisation by their own party in government and vowed not to relocate.

The traders said their government, which they had put in power, needed to relocate vendors first before coming to them.

The traders openly told the minister she was enjoying the benefits of a new government more than themselves.

The minister was forced to abandon the meeting because of their unruly behaviour.

Chisenga described the incident as unfortunate.

"Our plan was to engage the traders and consult them on how much time would be sufficient for them to relocate. We suggested one month and we expected them to agree or ask for more time but our colleagues became unruly and started speaking unpalatable language which was very unfortunate, because we as government could have chosen the shorter route to go at 01:00 hours to break that market without the traders," he said.

He said such structures were suffocating the city.

"We are not happy with the way people are suffocating the city. And our members should not look at PF and think it was made by a few people. Zambians across the country voted for change of government and we now have a responsibility as government to make decisions that will benefit all the citizens," he said.

Chisenga also said the government would start repossessing undeveloped land.

"Certain individuals have too much land which they are failing to develop within stipulated time and government has made a decision to repossess such land and empower Zambians because they are raping government. The state of certain buildings leaves much to be desired, people are now building warehouses right in the central business district and we wonder where our learned planners are," said Chisenga.

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