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Alba Iulia
Thursday, August 6, 2020

President Lungu constitutes a Committee to help traders as Marketeers ask for a bail out

Headlines President Lungu constitutes a Committee to help traders as Marketeers ask for...

President Lungu has constituted a committee of ministers to be headed by Vice President Inonge Wina that will soon come up with ways of helping traders who were affected by fire that gutted City Market on Tuesday.

The President said that the committee will also look at the reconstruction of the gutted market. The president also appealed to well-wishers and the business community to come the aid of the affected marketeers.

And AS hundreds of distraught traders began picking through the charred rubble of the part of Lusaka’s City Market wasted by Tuesday morning’s fire, it was revealed a total of 1,379 stalls were destroyed.

City Market acting manager Andrew Banda said the affected section was made up of 1,905 stalls. Sources told the Times that as the stalls tended to be shared with illegal sub-tenants, the affected number of traders was probably two or three times more than the number of the shops.

The inferno, one of the biggest fire incidents seen in the capital in recent years, has led to the closure of the market, Zambia’s largest with well over 6,000 registered traders.

Yesterday, as they contemplated the damage wrought by a fire whose origins the police are still trying to determine, many of the traders, having lost huge stocks of merchandise, equipment and shop furniture, were urging the authorities to reopen the market so they could try and get back to business with the little resources they still had or could muster.

Christine Bwalya, a shoe trader, said 50 bales of second-hand shoes valued at K67, 500 were burnt and she had obtained a K70,000 loan from AB Bank, which she was paying back in K7, 100 monthly installments. She employs a team of 10 workers.

Fighting back tears, Ms Bwalya said in an interview yesterday the loss of her merchandise had left her in a hopeless state; despairing about her loan and her own survival.

“My appeal to the Government is, please come to our aid and even if it means allowing us to trade from the corridors of City Market while they are repairing the facility, that form of help is welcome,” she said.
Another second-hand shoes trader, Dorothy Kafula, appealed for capital to re-launch her business, having managed to save only five bales of shoes from the 20 she had bought at K1, 100 apiece.

Like Ms Bwalya, she too had obtained a K40,000 loan from AB Bank which she was expected to pay back in K3,500 monthly installments. Without some sort of bail-out, she is ruined.

Matilda Banda, who runs a stationery business with her sisters, said besides the equipment and other related products that were destroyed in the blaze, K9,000 cash was burnt. Like the two shoe traders, she and her sisters have been left with nothing.

Closing the market for the duration of the repair works would be of no help to them and she warns many of the affected young people may be tempted into anti-social conduct for solace and means to raise capital.

Ireen Mutale, who had a takeaway stall and another dealing in tailoring, said she only managed to retrieve fridges from the market while the rest of her merchandise were either looted or burnt and was totally against the prolonged closure of City Market.

Earlier in the morning, Lusaka Central Member of Parliament Margaret Mwanakatwe visited City Market and assured the affected traders that the Government would ensure that it assisted them in whatever way possible.

Disaster Management and Mitigation Unit national coordinator Patrick Kangwa later in the day told the traders that the Government had started taking stock of all those that had stalls at City Market with a view to assisting them.

Mr Kangwa said the traders whose shops were burnt – and those from the unaffected part, but whose property was looted in the chaos occasioned by the fire – and had obtained police reports should go to Nakatindi Hall at the Civic Centre to register their particulars.

He stirred hurrumphs of disapproval from the horde of traders when he announced that the market would be reopened only after engineers had concluded their assessment and certified it fit for occupation.

Zambia National Marketeers Credit Association president Mupila Kameya described the burning of markets as retrogressive and asked that such facilities be provided with 24 hours security surveillance, including Closed-Circuit Television.


  1. After failing to bring HH before the court for fear of Mweemba embarrassing them, they have now invoked an SOE to justify their keeping HH behind bars indefinitely. Is power inherently such evil? What does RB talk with Chagwa when they meet? You are doing great?

    • Zambia will loose millions of kwacha because of the SOE. Now they also have to compensate the marketeers for burning up their merchandise in order to continue detaining HH. This SOE is just because of the fear of one man HH.

    • We are trying for our first child and this has hit me for six

      He has handled this very carefully professionally and we owe him a vote on the next General elections.

      It is folly to think otherwise that UPND are not behind what has happened to the country of late.

      I am sorry, you are all going through this but I would say VOTE EDGAR LUNGU in 2021 for continuity and prosperity

      I just had sausage and chips for my lunch – this is life



    • The government shouldn’t even deceive themselves that we have set markets, courts and other infrastructure on fire and cheated them that we don’t know who did it (meaning its UPND) and therefore have to invoke a SOE and st%pid Zambians as usual have bought into the thinking. All Zambians know that it is PF behind all this and that the target is just to keep HH in jail indefinitely.

    • Mushota please go continue trying for a child than wasting time. Having a child is more important. As much as I support the need to assist the marketeers. All Zambians need the help. What about the university student who cannot afford or street vendors without jobs or hope? All these years there has been no fire why only during Lungu’s time. It cannot be UPND because they have lost many elections before the 2016 even the 2015 and there was no fire. This definitely leaves one suspect- the PF thugs

    • @Mushota if you are trying for a child and there is only one man (Nick) trying to do the job, which obviously he has failed to do, why don’t you put more men on the job. May be a few more men will finish the job faster than Nick is able to do. Take my advice seriously!!!

    • The law will soon catch up with you. The rest of the nation is angry and you say it is OK. Who do you think he will be without these people you are making suffer. You he is not a man for the people. He is only for Tongas. Yes, let him rot in jail. All evil disciples will be dealt with including yourself. You already revving some data here. Continue! !!!

  2. My name is MMD Chief Bootlicker and I approve demands for bail out for these hard working and real drivers for the vital component of the GDP of our economy that is not captured by headlines.

    As Government in the past you have bailed out the following
    1) Zambian Airways
    2) Zambia Railways
    3) Zamtel
    3) All public Media
    4) DBZ

    and the list actually goes on

    If you did it for the above why can’t you DID it for these too?

    • If you also Approve my endorsement for the bail out for the hard working marketeers, please give my comment an UP FAT GREEN VOTE

    • Its not helping if government will fork out taxpayers money to assist the afflicted marketeers! Most of these same traders avoid paying taxes as they are not captured in the tax net thus it makes no sense that a bail out would come from the limited taxed number in formal employment! Everyone of these marketeers know that their business has varied risks involved and they take no precautions just because as @ The Political Sycophant they have not yet started thinking! Yes, thinking about insurance and all forms of safety in trading premises, zero! They understand seeking loans yet think not about cover should anything go wrong! Government must not seek political mileage in this or be emotional setting a precedent that similar catastrophes will be aided in similar fashion instead government…

    • contd…. must facilitate through enabling policies that would engage financing and insurance institutions into offering better terms! By the way, won’t government also compensate one whose vehicle was burnt at the Memorial Park fiasco?

  3. Instead of paying the PF thugs that did this give this money to the traders. Who does not know this is ploy to use as execuse for a state of emergency? What if the fire was started by an electric fault? Why was Lungu quick to declare the state of emergency. Lungu should be remained that the only state of emergency need is the economy, social justice, equibitable livelihood for people. Not corruption, hatred, division, and failure to bring about tangible economic change instead of borrowing. In short, Lungu has failed to bring positive and sustainable change to Zambia. The man spends more time thinking about HH or traveling than doing his job and ensuring a better life for Zambians

  4. How long will it take to arrest the alleged arsonists?? It appears the investigation is over before it even started. Why? May they know how the fire started. To it smells like a fascist plot, start a fire then blame the opposition and make them unpopular.

  5. You only need to have the mind of a mentally disturbed person to believe that PF did not torch this market. This is a PF plan to make Lungu look like he is caring and needs a third term. Keep HH in prison and justify state of emergency. But mature grown up people know that PF is behind these fires and the state of emergency will hurt the economy and country more.

    • u pipo u make me worry so much and make me think that this pipo who give such comments do thy have heads to hold there brains or myb u just have necks holding a ballon filled with water how can u surely think like that .honestly do u think the government can risk all that bcos of one individual who nothing but just an ordinary person like me .has now H.H become God to u that u praise him so much myb u even worship him and forgotn about OUR MIGHTY GOD IN HEAVEN remember i can say z the first suspect bcos of those statments he give bfor elections that he will cause avok and armagedon if he lost he just said those things with out thinking that the future will hold him up. and another thing that supprise is that ever since H.H was arrested his pipo have been crying for his release but were…

  6. Who ever is behind these fires is a devil and if it’s politically motivated,those parties will never rule Zambia. President Lungu is a proper democrat .Having listened to his latest press conference, the man is a proper democrat…. No doubt about it ! Am impressed to have such an intelligent leader for mother Zambia.

    • flag Mwebena Zambia mwaliwama, nomba pantu mukonkuluda, chakuti mwipushe elo mwishibe, ichikulu mwaikovinsa

      Why don’t you help police with investigations since you seem to know a lot, police pick this full to help you with investigations.

  7. Mr. President we who understand your heart and what you stand for will always stand by you. Love will always prevail over evil. Remain steady fast and may the Lord ever be your guide. The evil that has come against the country is unprecedented but the Lord is able

  8. I feel for the poor traders some of whom have bank loans to repay.Wishing them a quick comeback of their businesses and the arsonists who caused all this suffering to be caught.

    • flag Mwebena Zambia mwaliwama, nomba pantu mukonkuluda, chakuti mwipushe elo mwishibe, ichikulu mwaikovinsa

      @Enka why mukonkuluda, if people like Enka are saying it’s arson, why can’t police pick them to help with investigations, they seem to know a lot.

  9. How much tax are these traders paying to ZRA? Why was the market not insured? Why is the investigation so slow and yet all politicians are point fingers at opposition? If the fire started at the time of cleaning rounds, simple to identify how it stared and who reported the fire first! Something is not adding up here!

  10. Just why can’t people who are responsible blame themselves for failing to prevent, quench or put out fires? If you could that, it would be your strength, not these blame games every time .

  11. This is kapoyongo and PF starting fires around the country so as to silence critics.

    The fire in this market started when PF caders opened the gates at 5am. There are no UPND , davis mwila passed a directive for the PF thugs to takeover markets and bus stops……its recorded on film.

  12. UPND has badly de-campaigned itself. Come 2021 Zambians will just be saying, ”Remember how UPND burn’t houses and shops for Bembas in Namwala; remember how UPND burn’t the City Market and many poor people suffered and died of shock; remember how HH burn’t courts in Western Province, government buildings, remember—-, remember—— and the list will be endless.

  13. Have you ever thought that it was not PF or UPND motivated but just a electric fault in poorly over stocked areas with old boxes, printers and other junk you find in these markets (big fire hazard), as there are many sublet stalls, the fire dept is under trained , maybe limited water and as in Zambian style everyone just stands around and waits for someone else to do something. As for the tax payer paying to rebuild get Lungu and all MP’s to donated from their pockets , They have enough to help out.
    As for the stall owners how many pay anything to ZRA even though they claim bank loans of K40,000
    Banks don’t loan money unless you have other assets.

  14. What I find remarkable is that all opposition parties, with the notable exception of the UPND, have issued statements expressing sadness about the fires and the downing of electricity pylons. Can the fanatical UPND bloggers explain why the UPND is so quiet on these matters?

  15. Facts – they can’t to them they are punishing Lungu not the voters, they are very happy to what is happening, haven’t you heard that Larry was even congratulating them for the job well done for burning the city market.

  16. Facts they already issued a statement maybe you were too busy watching the only address Lungu has done in a century.

Comments are closed.

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