Council Public Relations Officer, Henry Kapata
Council Public Relations Officer, Henry Kapata

LUSAKA City Market has been closed with immediate effect following a protest by marketeers and street vendors which resulted into a riot, Council public relations officer Henry Kapata has said.

Mr Kapata said the closure followed two riots, one on Sunday between call boys and bus drivers over a dispute on fares charged on buses that loaded from City market.

The other riot was sparked when marketeers yesterday protested against vendors who they said were not paying levies and yet obstructing their business.

Mr Kapata said the market had been closed temporarily to facilitate time for the council to settle the differences between the aggrieved parties.

The marketeers trading inside the market had been experiencing a number of thefts a situation which also contributed to the rift between them and the vendors.

A check at the usually busy market found it closed and police in full riot gear patrolling the premises.

And five call boys were arrested in connection with the Sunday fracas at the City Market.

According to some bus drivers interviewed, they said calls boys were collecting K10 from each bus after loading a situation they said was tantamount to theft.

In a separate interview, Lusaka mayor Daniel Chisenga said Lusaka City Council was working hard to decongest the vendors around City Market and see to it that they were accommodated inside the market.

Mr Chisenga appealed to marketeers to exercise patience as the local authority was trying to find a lasting solution to the problem.

“The marketeers should be patient and allow the council to decongest and create space for the vendors inside the market and start paying levies to the council like marketeers,” he said.

National Chairperson of the Commuters Rights Association of Zambia, Aaron Kamuti said it was sad that the call boys had taken over the running of some bus stations in Lusaka.

Mr Kamuti said last week he witnessed an episode where the call boys at Inter-City Bus Terminus were harassing drivers to pay fees which resulted in commuters being scared to jump on the buses.

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20 COMMENTS

  1. What scale of calamity are GRZ and Civic Authorities waiting to see before they can enforce the law? What scale of calamity will make them realise that selective enforcement of laws leads to chaos, suffering and sometimes even death?
    How can you expect law breakers and law abiding citizens to co-exist in harmony? This is the order of the day in our cities and towns:
    – mobile vendors and unlicensed taxi operators (pirates) are left to operate side by side. The law breakers are even protected while the law abiding traders are told to be patient!!!!! Where on earth except our beloved Zambia.
    – rough thugs pretending to be members of the “untouchable” ruling party extort money from licensed taxi and mini-bus operators under the noses of state/council police!!!Where are u taking us?

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  2. Illegal vendors and pirates do not pay any taxes or levies, they block customers are they are not stationed at a stall in the market or authorised taxi rank and charge lower as they do not pay taxes. It can only be jungle law with terrible consequences – what is the purpose of having authorities/govt???

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  3. If we can construct structures as big as soccer stadia for entertainment, honestly we can do the same for markets in the interest of hygiene and orderliness. This is where the foor for at least 70% of Lusaka’s population comes from(Soweto market) and more money exchanges hands daily than any other single trading place in Zambia!!!

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  4. In a separate interview, Lusaka mayor Daniel Chisenga said Lusaka City Council was working hard to decongest the vendors around City Market and see to it that they were accommodated inside the market.

    There is no truth in the above statement, because the said market is full to capacity already without the vendors. Mr Mayor, please consult how this can be solved before you lie like you did above. There is need to call for ideas by the local authorities from the general public, rather than pretending to have solutions, as is the case above.

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  5. It seems there are riots and protests everyday.The cause and effect of a dissatisfied population.

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  6. It was only Mwanawasa who managed to control the markets. This situation will go out of hand with Sata fueling it. Sanity should prevail plesase.

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  7. mr mayor, put your act together. Lcc is the most toothless council on earth and its employees are only interested in harasing pipo whom they can get bribes from.

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  8. mr mayor, put your act together. Lcc is the most toothless council on earth and its employees are only interested in harasing pipo whom they can get bribes from. Look at how filth the city is.

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  9. Confusion from state house to the man on the street.selective application of the law,each group will protect its self.

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  10. Zambia crazy as usual. What is the main job of these called “call boys” my definition they offer duty to the eldest profession but why are they collecting money?

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    • They find passengers for the buses and get them loaded faster. They are at stations and many stops. They also can negotiate the fares for passengers in some cases. The problem here is that either they are demanding too much money or the buses are not making as much money now and the drivers cannot afford to pay them.

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