Traders seek legal action against UPND cadres
By ROGERS KALERO
ABOUT 16 mealie meal traders in Konkola township of Chililabombwe are now seeking legal action following the decision by the UPND cadres to ban them from trucking mealie meal to the lucrative market of Kasumbalesa in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
The traders, who were mostly from the Konkola township, said following the decision by the UPND cadres to ban them from selling mealie meal to the DRC, they were now stuck with the commodity and their homes were hit by hunger.
The traders, who spoke on condition of anonymity following threats and intimidation from the UPND cadres over media reports, said they may consider seeking legal action against the ruling party cadres for banning them from selling the mealie meal at the border.
“Selling mealie meal to the neighbouring DRC has been our business, it has been our livelihood. It is from this business that we feed our families and take our children to school. The move by the UPND cadres to stop us from selling thecommodity to the DRC has adversely affected us.
” We cannot take our children to school. Right now, as I am talking to you, our trucks are stuck with the mealie meal and we don’t know what to do,” said the traders.
The traders said the UPND cadres were arrogant and untouchable because they had the support of the party leadership in the district and some senior officials.
And some traders talked to, said they regret having voted for the UPND because its cadres had become more brutal than the Patriotic Front (PF) cadres, saying it was sad that they were ignoring President Hakainde Hichilema’s warning not to indulge in violence.
“We are disappointed and it is actually a sign of being disrespectful for the UPND cadres to behave contrary to what President Hichilema has been talking about .President Hichilema has stated in no uncertain terms that cadres should not harass people.
But UPND Copperbelt Provincial Spokesperson Lawrence Mwanza said those complaining were PF cadres who have had established cartels but were now crying after their cartels were busted.
Mr Mwanza said the PF cadres had established cartels to sell mealie meal into DRC and with the change of government, they were failing to cope with the situation hence resorting to crying .
And Copperbelt Minister Elisha Matambo said he could not comment on the matter because he was yet to get full information of what was happening at Kasumbalesaborder post.”I reserve my comment because I don’t have information on the matter. Let me get full information, then I will give my comment,” Mr Matambo said.