NANCY SIAME, Lusaka
THE Lusaka City Council’s revenue from markets and bus stations has increased from virtually nothing to over K90,000 per day following the removal of political party cadres from the public facilities.
In October this year, President Edgar Lungu directed the ministries of Local Government, Home Affairs and Transport and Communications to remove party cadres from markets and bus stations so that they are run by councils.
This was aimed at restoring sanity in the facilities following complaints from bus drivers and market traders that they were being harassed by cadres.
Lusaka Mayor Miles Sampa said in an interview yesterday that the local authority’s revenue has tremendously increased since the President made the directive.
“We have taken over the running of most markets and bus stations. Our people (council officials) are the ones who are even collecting levies from these places,” Mr Sampa said.
He said the Ministry of Local Government has encouraged the local authority not to be intimidated by anyone who wants to disregard the directive.
The city father said some people are not happy that the local authority has started collecting levies from markets and bus stations.
Mr Sampa said those who are not happy with the council collecting levies have been issuing threats to council workers, including himself.
“Those resisting change should know that we will still implement this directive without fear or favour.
“Previously, we never used to have resources for fuel to enable us to collect garbage and provide other services, but since the directive was made, we have resources to take care of some of the things we need,” he said.
Mr Sampa said the local authority has deployed its workers to all markets and bus stations in the city to collect levies.
He is hopeful that once the local authority further maximises revenue collection, it will have enough resources to improve service provision to Lusaka residents.
Mr Sampa thanked President Lungu for making the directive to remove political party cadres from markets and bus stations.
He also commended Patriotic Front secretary general Davies Mwila for personally visiting markets to see to it that no one uses the ruling party’s name to extort money from anyone in markets and bus stations.
NANCY SIAME, Lusaka