Wed, 21 Feb 2018 13:03:55 +0000
By SIMON MUNTEMBA
MARKETEERS in Kazungula district have sued the council (KTC) demanding an order of interim injunction restraining the defendants from unlawful demolishing and extension of the existing market.
According to a statement of claim filed in the Livingstone High Court district registry, the plaintiffs state that they enjoyed their existence in the markets until this year when the defendants allegedly and unlawfully demolished their licensed structures in the market.
This is a case in which Machai Swana and other 301 Kazungula marketers sued the local authority, for alleged unlawful demolition of their licensed structures.
“We have made the decision to sue Kazungula Town Council over the unlawful demolishing and extension of the existing market. Our claim is that the extension will put our lives and those of our customers at a security and health risk.
“We further claim that the Council plan is not well designed and that it is rendering the existing market useless as it is back staging the existing shops. That the head of the district cholera committee and the council were busy putting the name of the President in disrepute,
“ I believe these people are trying to use the countrywide clean up to de-campaign our humble President, and pocket the money, most of them were heard saying “ Ni wamene President wanu ati tuma,” stated the plaintiffs.
The plaintiffs further allege that a full council meeting was not convened and no council resolutions were passed but surprisingly the local authority went on to demolish market shelters inside a designated market.
“This exercise was full of corruption, the health inspector, council treasurer and district accountant have since been suspended for collecting money from unsuspecting Kazungula businessmen. We are asking the Livingstone High Court to grant us an injunction, restraining the Kazungula town council and its servants from continuing the construction and extension of the market,” the plaintiffs stated.
They also want a declaration that the market extension is a danger to public health and safety of the customers, stall owners and the public at large.
On Sunday, a whistleblower allegedly exposed a scam linked to the council in which over 500 marketeers, whose licensed structures were demolished, have been swindled out of K200 each bringing the total to K10, 000. According to one of the victims who sought anonymity, the local authority, through the market chairperson, asked over 500 marketeers in Kazungula district to pay K200 non-refundable fee each to be reallocated their trading spaces but later gave the trading spaces to other people.
A source narrated that council officials, in collaboration with some unscrupulous people from the market, took advantage of the demolition exercise to siphon money from unsuspecting marketeers.
But the council has denied any wrong doing.