State ignoring market, bus station law – commuters

SEVEN years after the law was enacted to better manage markets and bus stations, Government and local authorities appear to have abandoned it and left its implementation to callboys to determine its application.

In 2007, Government enacted the Markets and Bus Station Act which now has lost steam without its application.

The development has not gone well with The Commutter, a community based rehabilitation organization.

The Commuter representative Liswaniso Mwanalushi has said the non-application of the Markets and Bus Station Act had led to the suffering of commuters in Zambia at the hands of callboys and bus crews.

Mr Mwanalushi said there was little or no intervention from State regulators and law enforcement agencies on public passenger transport.

He said the councils needed to build modern bus stations which met international standards and were accessible to people who are differently abled.

Mr Mwanalushi said most of the bus stations were usually under the control of calls boys who were fuelling disorder to the commuters in the stations.

He said the funds being pocketed by callboys could be better used by local authorities in improving municipal service delivery in the transport sector.

“Councils usually say they don’t have funds to carry out infrastructure development projects yet many bus stations are managed and controlled by callboys countrywide,” he said.

Mr Mwanalushi said modern bus stations in Zambia would mean more revenue to councils, adding that the Ministry of Local Government and Housing should speed up the process of constituting boards to manage the stations countrywide.

He said his organisation advocating an environment, which enhanced mutual understanding of rules and regulations between commuters and transport service providers in the country.

“Going forward, we would like the Ministry of Local Government and Housing to start removing barriers in the physical environment of bus stations as is provided for in the Disability Act of 2012.

“We are appealing to the Minister of Local Government and Housing to seriously consider amending the composition of boards as is outlined in the Markets and Bus Station Act of 2007 so that a representative of people with disabilities can sit on the board too,” he said.