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NKOMBO WARNS CADRES – As victimised traders call for protection

By SIMON MUNTEMBA and KALOBWE BWALYA

CADRES have been warned against harassing marketeers and demanding money from them by Minister of Local Government and Rural Development, Gary Nkombo.

Mr Nkombo said it was illegal for any political cadre to take over the role of the local councils and their designated function in public places, anybody founding wanting will not be spared.

The Minister said he was aware that some individuals were collecting money from the public in the name of being political party cadres but warned that their days were numbers.

“Gone are the days when political cadres took over the role of the councils and their designated functions. Let this be a bygone.

“The four big cities; Lusaka, Ndola, Kitwe and Livingstone have been very notorious in terms of people using political power, the power that does not exist to engage in illegal activities.  I also want to sound a warning to those who may want to continue in developing without permission from the city council risk losing property because time will come when we are going to come and raze them down regardless of who you are, and what you may think you are,” Mr Nkombo warned.

He added, “Time has come for us to realise that the order must be restored. The new government of President Hakainde Hichilema stands for sanity and orderliness.”

He directed the local authority to make sure that there was an enforcement of the law against those engaging in illegal activities in the area they are operating from.

Meanwhile, UPND cadres are demanding as much as K10, 000 to K15, 000 from stall owners at Kulima Tower Bus Station in Lusaka failure to which they grab and sell their stalls to other people, the Daily Nation has learnt.

Cadres are also intimidating shop owners to pay amounts of K1, 500 to receive offer letters through the Lusaka City council (LCC) and yet it is not the local authority which is in charge of land issues.

A group of affected traders from Kulima Tower Bus Station narrated at the Daily Nation offices that the station is now being run by UPND cadres.

In an interview, group representative Delphine Mweembe said UPND cadres are intimidating every person trading from Kulima Tower Bus Station and are demanding money purporting that they were working with the council.

Ms Mweembe explained that on several times a group of UPND cadres have approached her and intimidated her, accusing her of trading from a shop belonging to a well-known Pf cadre and that if she did not pay the K15, 000 to secure her stall, she will lose it.

Ms Mweembe said cadres have so far identified 10 stalls whose occupiers they have since been intimidating and threatening them if they don’t pay the money.

“From the time UPND came into power, cadres have been on our neck intimidating us and accusing us of being PF cadres and some senior UPND cadres officials who are operating at the station are now issuing fake letters that we have to pay, produce NRC, PACRA documents, utility bill and a non-refundable fee of K500 if one has to acquire a shop at Kulima Tower, “said Ms Mweembe.

And Ms Mweembe disclosed that the UPND cadres have also put up an office in the station painted red, while the LCC officials were only allowed to collect money from the fee-paying toilet.

She said police officers from Kulima Tower were also being intimidated by the cadres that they will be fired if they interfere in their legal operations.

Meanwhile, Police in Mazabuka fought running battles with UPND cadres at the main bus terminus as they tried to take over the station.

Southern Province Police Commissioner, Alfred Nawa confirmed that UPND cadres wanted to take over the bus station by force and started harrassing transport operators.

He said six UPND members have been apprehended and have since been charged with conduct likely to cause a breach of peace.

He says that the six have since been detained at Mazabuka police station.

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