POLICE TAKE CHARGE AT LUSAKA BUS STATIONS, MARKETS
By KALOBWE BWALYA and NOEL IYOMBWA
POLICE have taken over the provision of security at various bus stations and markets in Lusaka.
By 08:00 hours yesterday, there was heavy presence of police officers at Intercity Bus Terminus, Kulima Tower Bus station and Soweto Market who have been deployed as a proactive measure following the continued reports of harassment of traders and extortion of their hard earned money.
The Lusaka City Council office at Intercity Bus Terminus which has for a long time been occupied by political cadres has been given back to the local authority.
A check by Daily Nation found all main entrance gates at intercity being manned by council police officers as well as at Kulima Tower bus station.
And people interviewed have asked the police command not to withdraw the officers in all public places to maintain law and order.
A Lusaka resident, Mr Andrew Chandangala has thanked President Hakainde Hichilema for the aggressive move he has taken to ensure that cadrerism is no more in all public places.
Mr Chandangala said people are now free to move from one place to another following the deployment of police officers in markets and bus stations as a proactive measure.
On Tuesday this week, police arrested some youths in connection with a receipt which was seen trending on social media indicating the existence of a UPND intercity security and markets community.
Some youths identified to be behind the issuance of the receipt have been detained by police including Stanley Phiri, aged 36 years while three other suspects escaped but were later arrested.
The suspects were identified as John Bombek aged 34, Charles Mulenga aged 40 and Mathews Mwape aged 35 have been detained for obtaining money by false pretenses and will appear in court soon.
And Inspector General of police Lemmy Kajoba has since directed all Deputy Commissioners of Police throughout the country to ensure that they devise mechanisms aimed at averting this problem in all markets and bus stations under their charge.
“This will enable us to respond to people’s concerns without delay hence protecting traders from those cadres who are trying to resist change in the running of markets and bus stations,” said Mr Kajoba.
Meanwhile, no political flags should be displayed in markets and bus stations, police spokesperson Esther Katongo has said.
Speaking when she featured on ZNBC the update program, Ms Katongo said the new government had a zero tolerance policy for cadreism
She said that Inspector General of Police, Lemmy Kajoba, has deployed officers in markets and bus stations.
Ms Katongo observed that there was a need to sensitize marketers on the need to pay market and bus fees directly to councils.
She said that it has been embedded in the minds of marketers to pay cadres, hence the need to sensitize them to pay to the local authorities.
Ms. Katongo said that officers would continue patrolling public facilicies and would only be redeployed when deemed necessary.
And Ms. Katongo said that there was no one who reported the UPND receipt scandal.
She explained that the receipt was only circulated on social media which led to the arrest of four people.
“We are not allowing the display of political flags in markets and bus station because this new government has zero tolerance to caderisim and marketers should ensure that they pay to the right people
“Marketeers should be sensitized who to pay to because it has been embedded in their minds that they pay to cadres,” she said.
Earlier, People’s Alliance for Change President, Andyford Banda called on Mr Kajoba to form a task force to resolve the crisis around cadres at bus stations and trading places.
Mr Banda said the misconduct of cadres was one of the major reasons why the governments of UNIP, MMD, and PF fell.
There had been numerous reports of UPND cadres controlling markets and collecting money from traders.