THE continued trend by political cadres to run markets and bus stations has raised concern among Lusaka residents who have since called on the Lusaka City Council to intervene in the matter and ensure that markets and stations are free and safe for all people regardless of their political affiliation.
The residents have complained that some cadres have taken over markets in the city and are chasing away traders who do not belong to their political party.
They have charged that it is unfair and wrong for cadres to behave like they own the markets and as such inconveniencing other people who want to conduct their businesses there.
Catherine Chansa, a trader at City Market, said that political cadres go round collecting money from the traders and threatening to chase them out if they do not pay.
Ms. Chansa complained that there is urgent need for relevant authorities to intervene in the matter and stop cadres from terrorizing the marketeers.
She said a market is an open place for all to trade and no one should be subjected to living in terror because they support a certain political party.
‘’We are concerned as traders in this market at the continued trend by some political cadres of terrorizing us and behaving like they own the market with no consideration of the fact that they are disturbing people’s businesses,’’ she said.
And Nathan Hang’andu, a driver at City Market bus station, complained that cadres dictated the movement of busses in the stations.
Mr. Hang’andu alleged that the cadres favoured those in their political party and hence disadvantaging other drivers.
He said ‘‘cadres go around terrorizing people in the stations as if they are the owners of the bus stations’’.
‘’These cadres are making our work difficult and that is why are calling on the council to ensure that they do everything within their power and get rid of cadres in the stations,’’ he said. But Lusaka City Council has said that the authority is not in charge of controlling political party cadres.
LCC public relations manager Habeenzu Mulunda said that it is the responsibility of the political party involved to tame their cadres.
Mr. Mulunda said that it is not up to the council to ask cadres to leave the markets and the bus stations but the responsibility falls on the shoulders of particular political parties as the council does not deal with cadres.
‘’We cannot do anything when it comes to the issue of cadres because it is the responsibility of the various political parties to control their cadres and ensure that they do not go round terrorizing innocent people,’’ he said.