NANCY SIAME, Lusaka
VICE-PRESIDENT Inonge Wina has expressed concern at the slow pace at which the construction of new markets to accommodate marketeers
affected by the gutting of Lusaka City Market is going.
And K12 million has been raised so far towards the rebuilding of the new markets, K10 million of which has already been received while the remaining K2 million is expected to be received within the next few days.
Ms Wina has since urged the technical committee in charge of building the markets to ensure that the building of the facilities is given the urgency and utmost commitment it deserves.
She said this yesterday when she visited two sites at Simon Mwewa Lane and old Soweto market where construction of markets is being done.
“We may not understand the frustration which the marketeers are going through, we committed to finish building in six weeks but we are already behind schedule as we have already lost three weeks,” Mrs Wina said.
Mrs Wina said there is need to engage the marketeers to make them aware of what is causing delays in the project.
She said President Lungu is clear about the empowerment of marketeers because he knows that Zambia cannot develop without their contribution.
“All this is to ensure that the welfare of the poor is taken into account,” Mrs Wina said.
Mrs Wina said she wants to see marketeers get back to selling their merchandise as soon as possible and those working on the project must speed up the works.
Disaster Management and Mitigation Unit (DMMU) national co-ordinator Patrick Kangwa said works have delayed to start due to change in designs.
Mr Kangwa said the new approved designs will be ready within the next 10 days, after which the actual time frame to complete the works will be known.
“Both sites had challenges which led to the delay in the commencement of works,” he said.
Both sites are expected to create 4,000 market spaces once completed.
Mr Kangwa said other markets which were gutted will also be considered for reconstruction.
He also disclosed that the technical committee has received K12 million in pledges of which K10 million has been received.
“We expect to receive the balance in the next few days,” Mr Kangwa said.
Meanwhile, the Zambia State Insurance Corporation (ZSIC) yesterday donated K150,000 towards the rebuilding of the markets.
ZSIC board chairperson Justin Chisulo said market fires have been a source of concern for the insurance industry, especially that most of them are not insured.
“It would be ideal if all markets and marketeers had some form of insurance to ensure that they have something to fall back on in an event of such unfortunate events,” he said.
Mr Chisulo said the company will offer expertise as the two markets are being built to ensure that they are less prone to fires.
Receiving the donation, Mrs Wina thanked ZSIC for the donation and urged the firm to work with other insurance companies to come up with creative ways of insuring people’s property.
“Even as we encourage people to venture into entrepreneurship, they should be sensitised to preserve what they own,” she said.