The traders claimed that members of Buseko Timber and Glass Cooperative had sold the market to a Lebanese who wanted to evict them from the property. A check by the Daily Nation found the traders in five Mitsubishi Canter trucks heading to the council demanding an audience with the local authority over what they termed as illegal sale of the market. The marketeers sang songs of solidarity and said they wanted justice because a few cadres disguised as cooperative owners wanted to ruin the lives of thousands of families.
A trader, Mr Jackson Chola, said that the vigilant traders at the market last week thwarted an attempt by the Lebanese and cooperative officials to create a demarcation on the market. Mr Chola said that they were offered alternative land in Mumbwa but that they were reluctant to go there because it was too far and most of them could not manage to commute every day.
He said that the other problem was that the land in Mumbwa could not even accommodate more than 200 people which made it impossible because the market at Buseko could accommodate over 1, 000 people. “We need answers that is why you have seen us mobilise ourselves and go to the council because what is going on is not good at all,” he said.
Meanwhile, a former chairlady at the market who wanted to remain anonymous said that the cooperative was pushing a selfish agenda to enrich themselves at the expense of thousands. She said that 10 people wanted to ruin the lives of thousands of people who risked losing everything if the market was sold off. She said that she was aware that they had sold the market for K2.5 million and that they had not yet received the last balance of the transactions. She said she was part of the cooperative but that she had not taken part in the transactions and all she wanted was justice to prevail.
Meanwhile, Mr Mwansa explained that part of Buseko market was managed by the cooperative management. Mr Mwansa said on Sunday, the cooperative started fencing part of its plot and that did not please the traders who later held a protest match to the council. Mr Mwansa said the marketeers were agitated and decided to have an audience with the local authority.
However, Mr Mwansa said the council has since met with the cooperative management not to disturb the traders because they had been there for a long time. Mr Mwansa said although part of the land belonged to the cooperative market, the move was disturbing to traders.