CATHERINE MUMBA, Lusaka
GOVERNMENT yesterday raised about K12.5 million in pledges and cash after launching a fund for the reconstruction of the gutted Lusaka City Market and
rehabilitation of other trading facilities across Zambia.
Part of the money to be raised from the initiative dubbed ‘Fund for rehabilitation of markets in Zambia’ will be used on building a bigger city market and two temporary trading sites where the affected traders will be relocated.
Vice-President Inonge Wina launched the Fund during a fundraising breakfast meeting in Lusaka yesterday.
Mrs Wina said the launch of the Fund is one of the resolutions of an urgent meeting of the committee of ministers President Lungu has mandated to, among other things, mobilise resources for rebuilding Lusaka City Market.
“The committee of ministers agreed on the need to specify short, medium and long term measures in order to focus on achieving the objective of reconstructing the entire market,” she said.
Mrs Wina said the committee is further tasked to determine the assistance which can be extended to other markets across the country, with an emphasis on building resilient trading areas which can withstand fire and other hazards.
She said the committee also agreed that all the 4,000 traders who were housed in the City Market be relocated to allow for the reconstruction of the new trading facility.
Mrs Wina said during the same meeting, the office of the accountant general was tasked to urgently open an account at the Bank of Zambia in which all well-wishers will deposit funds through various commercial banks.
She appealed to the corporate world and individuals to contribute to the Fund as a way of showing solidarity with families of those affected by the tragedy.
Mrs Wina said all contributions should be channelled through the Disaster Management and Mitigation Unit (DMMU) to prevent unscrupulous people from taking advantage of the situation.
DMMU national coordinator Patrick Kangwa urged sympathisers to make their deposits at 10 commercial banks which will be advertised in the print media and that regular updates will be given on how the funds will be used.
Government led the way by contributing K10 million, while the Citizens Economic Empowerment Commission pledged K1 million and 17 commercials banks under the Bankers Association of Zambia pledged about K300,000.
Patriotic Front and independent members of Parliament pledged K100,000, permanent secretaries K250,000 and many other pledges were made by private enterprises and individual business people.
Meanwhile, a Solwezi-based company, Olibul Investment Limited, has pledged to contribute K20,000 to the reconstruction of Lusaka City Market, reports BUTTYSON KANDIMBA.
Company operations director Jackson Kungo told journalists here yesterday that his firm was saddened by the destruction of the country’s biggest market which was a source of livelihood for many people not only those in Lusaka but many other parts of Zambia.
Mr Kungo has appealed to other companies operating in North-Western Province to come on board and contribute to the rebuilding of the market.
He said his company will release the money next week after confirming the bank details of the account to use with the Office of the Vice-President which is chairing a committee of ministers managing the rebuilding of the market.