The business community in Lusaka’s Kanyama constituency yesterday afternoon bemoaned the high cost of doing business in Zambia, which has forced many small-scale businesses in the area to close.
Speaking on behalf of the Kanyama business community when they met UPND President Hakainde Hichilema, Moses Mufumbwe said small businesses owners are crying and bleeding due to the poor economic policies and lack of planning under current leadership.
Mr. Mufumbwe called on the UPND President Hakainde Hichilema to sort out the problem in markets and bus stops, which have become heavily politicised to the point where anyone not supporting the PF leadership are harassed and removed so that they lose their income.
Mr. Mufumbwe, who represented marketeers, bus and taxi drivers, and members of the hospitality among others, said public service drivers are also crying out to have licence validity increased from the current one year to five due to the slow processes of issuing the PSV licenses despite the high fees.
And Mr Hichilema said that the concerns raised by the Kanyama business community resonate with the majority of the Zambian people, especially those working on or managing small businesses in the country.
Mr. Hichilema said as a businessman himself he fully understands the concerns of the community and knows what action needs to be taken to improve the situation.
He committed to addressing the plight of small businesses, especially those owned by Zambians and particularly youths and women.
The UPND leader said there is a need to promote small businesses through the provision of affordable credit schemes and loans at low interest rates to avoid default.
The UPND leader said he has heard the plight of taxi and bus drivers on the matter of licenses and has said once in office the PSV driving licences will be valid for 5 years.
He also said the bus and taxi drivers must equally have an opportunity to be employers by owning these businesses through the provision of affordable loan schemes.
The UPND leader further bemoaned the poor water and sanitation situation in compounds such as Kanyama, stating they require urgent attention to prevent against diseases such as cholera.
He concluded by urging the people of Zambia to unite together to elect a visionary leadership that cares for the people and is not consumed by self-interest.
Mr. Hichilema was accompanied by party National Chairperson Mutale Nalumango who also called on the people of Zambia to make the right choices by electing the UPND President Hakainde Hichilema and his leadership.