Govt urged to intervene in Kamwala shopping row


THE Government has been implored to re-negotiate with affected parties in the continued impasse surrounding Luburma market shops that were constructed by China Henan and local Zambian businessmen.

Zambia Republic Party leader Wright Musoma said the alleged exploitation the local business people were subjected to did not reflect the Government’s desire to empower Zambians to help themselves.

Mr Musoma said it was important to create an enabling environment for the growth of small scale traders to expand, but difficult trading conditions and high rentals coupled with high service charges were hindering their growth.

He said there was need to encourage projects that benefited the local people at grassroots level because they were key to the development of the economy.

Mr Musoma said the rentals being charged by China Henan were too high, claiming that the company had already recouped its investment.

He said the high rental rates were not being helpful to the ordinary Zambian, adding that most of the traders were earning a living out of the little they were raising through selling.

Mr Musoma said Zambia had no problems with investors, but that he was opposed to the manner in which the local people were treated by foreign companies.

“These people want to give shops to non-Zambians at the expense of the local people, saying they failed to pay rentals when they are just too high to disadvantage the locals.

‘‘Some investors should stop exploiting our people in the name of free market, and we will not tolerate our people to be back in the streets because of lack of a source of income because the Government is working for the people and trying to frustrate its effort will be unacceptable,” he said.

The Kamwala shopping complex was constructed in 2002 under a 65-year lease agreement by China Hennan, who has continued collecting rentals, and quoting its rentals in dollars.