HUNDREDS of women marketeers on the Copperbelt yesterday staged a solidarity march in Kitwe to thank President Lungu for empowering them with soft loans under the presidential initiative.
The marketeers brought business in the central business district to a standstill.
They showered accolades on President Lungu for empowering them economically with loans to boost their businesses.
National Traders and Marketeers Association of Zambia (NATMAZ) national chairlady Lizzie Kaluba said in Kitwe yesterday that marketeers on the Copperbelt are indebted to Mr Lungu for his empowerment initiatives.
“As women marketeers on the Copperbelt, we are happy with President Lungu’s decision to empower us, traders and vendors. We will support his government because it cares about us,” Ms Kaluba said.
She said NATMAZ is committed to supplementing Government’s efforts in accelerating national development through the promotion of viable and sustainable businesses.
Ms Kaluba said women marketeers have been facing many challenges in accessing loans from financial lending institutions because of prohibitive interest rates and lack of collateral, but President Lungu has now made it possible for them.
Ms Kaluba appealed to the government to come up with more viable and sustainable empowerment schemes that will directly address the challenges faced by marketeers.
She also called on Government to intervene in lowering exorbitant charges marketeers are paying to the Kitwe City Council at Chisokone Market.
And Kitwe district commissioner Chanda Kabwe re-affirmed Government’s commitment to empowering women countrywide.
Mr Kabwe, who is also patron for NATMAZ, said women play an important role in national development and donated K15,000 to the marketeers during the solidarity march.