MWAPE MWENYA, Lusaka
WOMEN traders at Lusaka City market have asked Government to strictly scrutinise traders to benefit from the compensations and stalls at the new market earmarked for construction.
Speaking in an interview, Beauty Mwandila, a trader who deals in second-hand clothes, said unscrupulous people may take advantage of the situation and benefit from the incentives when they are not affected in any way.
Ms Mwandila said people should be honest and not exaggerate their loss to allow for all affected traders to benefit.
And Ministry of Local Government and Housing permanent secretary Amos Malupenga said in an interview that Government will construct a four-storey market that will accommodate more than 4,000 traders.
Mr Malupenga said the council will adhere to the registered number of people who have been affected by the inferno.
“The concerns from the women have already been addressed. The council has been registering the affected traders and when it comes to allocation of stalls, the affected ones will be prioritised and the remaining stalls will be given to those interested. It will be a straightforward exercise,” Mr Malupenga said.
He said the construction of the markets will help curb street vending in Lusaka as all street vendors will have stalls at the new markets.
Meanwhile, Non-Governmental Organisations Coordinating Council (NGOCC) chairperson Sera Longwe said it is sad that most affected traders are women who are struggling to earn a living under the harsh economic conditions.
“Government and the private sector should immediately help the marketeers who lost their merchandise. It is critical because most traders are women who depend on trading in the market for their livelihoods,” Ms Longwe said.
She said it is important for all Zambians to be responsible as the breakdown of peace in the nation adversely affects the most vulnerable, who are women and children.