Bus station sale rumour sparks protest

Thu, 08 Dec 2016 07:58:51 +0000

By Kalobwe Bwalya  and  Tawanda Munyuki

IRATE Lusaka bus drivers, vendors and call boys yesterday took to the streets protesting the alleged Lusaka City Council intentions to sell Kulima Tower bus station to an investor.

But Lusaka City Council public relations manager Habeenzu Mulunda said contrary to the allegation, Kulima Tower bus station has not been sold to anyone and the station is still a property of council.

“Recently the council announced the appointment of Parkrite Zambia Limited to would manage the parking in the central business district with effect from 10th October, 2016.

‘‘The decision to award the parking rights to Parkrite Zambia was reached at a full council meeting under minute number LCC/PSU/001CP/12.

‘‘In the memorandum of agreement (MoA) it was agreed that Parkrite Zambia would manage the parking system on behalf of the council for an initial period of three months subject to review with a possible extension of 10 years after which all the parking management systems including the infrastructure would be handed over to LCC,” said Mr Mulunda.

He explained that the parties agreed that the operator shall manage, collect and enforce all parking fees including all on-street and all off- street parking spaces, including Intercity bus terminus and independently parking lots owned by council in the city centre.

Parkrite Zambia shall remit 40 percent of the parking proceeds to LCC after submission of all financial statements to the LCC finance department.

He explained that council’s plan to engage a private company to manage the parking in the city centre is intended to sanitize and decongest the business centre to allow for better and safer parking system.

“The local authority through Parkrite Zambia intend to use proper paid parking management in its quest to move to smart city management protocols, such as smart traffic, smart lighting, and smart transport, therefore the council wishes to reiterate that the alleged sale of Kulima Tower which is being propagated by some individuals is false and incorrect, “ he said.

PF Lusaka Province chairman Kennedy Kamba said Vice President Inonge Wina has directed him to move in quickly and meet the Lusaka mayor and town clerk Alex Mwansa to discuss the way forward.

Mr Kamba said the traders who do business from town are affected especially those who trade from parking spaces.

The angry drivers and vendors stormed the council, chanting and singing solidarity songs, saying they would not accept the sale of the bus station as that was their source of livelihood.

Joseph Mulenga, a driver, complained that the decision by the council was unfair as it was going to leave a lot of people out of employment.

Mr. Mulenga said that bus stations was a source of livelihood for a lot of people who will suffer once to stations are sold and people are not given a secure and safe place to go and conduct their businesses from.

‘’As drivers we are not happy with this decision that the council has taken without consulting us and it is inconsiderate on their part as an authority because most of us do not have formal jobs and the only form of work we have is in the stations and we will have no way of surviving if the bus stations are sold,’’ he said.

Ms. Elena Zulu, a trader, said that the sale of bus station was a bad idea and would disadvantage a lot of people.

They have since called on President Edgar Lungu to intervene in the matter and ensure that the stations are not sold at the expense of the people.

‘’We are saddened by the development and that is why we are appealing to the President and all the relevant authorities to intervene in the matter and ensure that they rescue us from the sale of the bus stations because they are our only means of survival,’’ she said.

And Kulima Tower bus station chairperson Julius Salim said that the sale of bus stations was illegal as the station management was not consulted.

Mr. Salim said the council needed to consult with the divers and vendors who were key stakeholders in the stations before deciding to sell them off.

But Independence ward 14 area councillor George Daka has assured the drivers and vendors that no one will sell the bus stations without their consent.

Mr. Daka said he will engage the council and relevant authorities to ensure that the issue is settled amicably.

 

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