P R E S I D E N T – E L E C T Hakainde Hichilema stated during his inaugural press briefing to the nation after being declared winner of the August 12 general election that the political cadres will be removed from markets and bus stations.
The resolve by the United Party for National Development (UPND) to flash out political cadres from the bus stations and markets is commendable and long overdue. The political cadres in the Patriotic Front regime controlled the bus stations and the markets and collected some levies which were not accounted for. Simply put, the collected revenue was being pocketed by the cadres.
Last Wednesday, the Lusaka City Council (LCC) took over the running of the Intercity Bus Terminals. If this is not enough, the local authorities is now mandated to run all the bus stations and the markets across the country. The state police and the Lusaka City Council were last Wednesday at the Intercity Bus Terminals to flash out the cadres. It was established that about K2 million was being collected from the Intercity Bus Terminal on a monthly basis for instance. This money is supposed to be collected by the Lusaka City Council to go towards workers’ welfare and other financial obligations.
The employees in local authorities employees across the country often go several months without salaries. The harassment of bus drivers by the political cadres at the bus stations almost made Mr. Ishmael Khankara, the proprietor of Capital Bus Services, to close his transport business. The decision to remove the political cadres from the bus stations and the markets has cheered the public.
The removal of the political cadres from controlling the bus stations and the markets will not only increase the revenue base of the local authorities but, it will also bring sanity in the running of these facilities. All said and done, the removal of the political cadres from the markets and the bus stations is commendable and long overdue.
ELEMIYA PHIRI, Lusaka