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Saviour to hold one-man protest against State House corruptionBy Mirriam Chabala on 4 Jun 2017
United Progressive People leader Saviour Chishimba has announced that he will tomorrow hold a one-man protest against State House corruption among other issues.
In a statement today, Saviour said he would go to State House to protest against Chinese corruption in Zambia and hostile economic conditions under the Patriotic Front regime as well as call for action against corruption.
He said he did not need a police permit as he was not calling for a public gathering.
“From the outset, let me make it clear that I will not need a police permit because I am not calling for a public meeting. I will just be alone in the land of liberties for which freedom fighters died and sacrificed all they had for. Let the police therefore be warned that this country is bigger than a compromised Police Command,” said Saviour.
Below is his full statement and programme for his scheduled protests:
THE UPP PRESIDENT WILL DO A ONE MAN WALK-BY PROTEST AGAINST CHINESE CORRUPTION AT STATE HOUSE AS WELL AS UNDERTAKE A PROTEST AT CHINA HAINAN (Z) LTD HEAD OFFICE TO DEMAND JUSTICE FOR EVICTED ZAMBIANS FROM LUBARMA MARKET
As an indigenous Zambian and leader of the United Progressive People (UPP), I will be undertaking the following protests tomorrow, Monday June 5, 2017 starting at 10:30 am:
1. 10:30 am: China Hainan (Z) Headquarters – Protest against the eviction of struggling Zambian market shop owners at Lubarma Market in Kamwala
2. 11:30 am: Civic Centre Mayor’s Parlour – Protest against the failure by Lusaka City Council to review the 65 year illegal lease of Lubarma Market to China Hainan (Z) Limited
3. 12:30 pm: State House – Protest against Chinese corruption in Zambia and hostile economic conditions under the PF regime as well as call for action against corruption
4. 1:30 pm: Lubarma Market – Mourn a female trader who died last week as a result of pressure from the hostile China Hainan, and later undertake a tour of the market shop stalls that are affected by the action of China Hainan.
From the outset, let me make it clear that I will not need a police permit because I am not calling for a public meeting. I will just be alone in the land of liberties for which freedom fighters died and sacrificed all they had for. Let the police therefore be warned that this country is bigger than a compromised Police Command.
The protest is predicated on the deeply troubling and disturbing developments that have taken place at Lubarma Market since 2001. Sadly, justice for the poor people of Zambia and marketeers does not appear to be coming from successive governments.
The evidence in our possession reveals the following:
1. On 9th August, 2001, the Lusaka City Council entered into a lease agreement with Chaina Hainan (Z) Limited in respect of the 2.7 hectares stand LUS/3502, 4563 and 4564 also known as “Lubarma Market”.
2. The lease agreement was entered into after the Full Council Meeting on 13th July 2001 under minute number C/116/07/2001.
3. Clause 6.1 of the lease agreement provides thus, “The Developer will be entitled to exclusive use and have the right to lease and occupation of all the 121 Numbers shops and parking facilities for the shop tenant i.e. the rest of the facilities on the Stand which shall only be available for use by the Developer and its Lessees but for use by no other person or party unless agreed to in writing by the Developer who shall be entitled to all rentals accruing thereto for a period of 65 years calculated from the date of the issue of the Certificate of Occupation. The Lusaka City Council ensure the Developer a peaceful possession for the above specified period without interruption.” (UNEDITED clause).
4. Clause 6.3 gives the Developer (China Hainan) the liberty to use the Market as collateral for loans during the period of the lease, which was duly signed by the mayor and town clerk for Lusaka City Council, and a Mr. Xu Zhongqing (Director) and Mr. Chen Heshu (Secretary) for China Hainan. Zambian entrepreneurs can also borrow if given the chance and one wonders how a sane government can give this privilege to a foreign “investor.””
5. The 65 year lease agreement is in clear conflict with subsection four of section four of the Markets and Bus Stations Act of the Laws of Zambia which provides thus, “Any public-private partnership entered into shall not be for a period longer than fourteen years”
6. The total investment in the project by China Hainan was US$3.5 million, but the total receipts in rentals (excluding all forms of taxes and withholding tax which is levied on market shop owners) earned so far is in excess of US$14, 333, 952 in twelve years. This means that China Hainan has not only recouped the investment, but also reaped off the close to 20 million poor people of Zambia.
7. In 2004, the National Assembly of Zambia urged the MMD Government to re-negotiate the lease agreement, but the appeal landed on corrupt and deaf ears.
8. On 28th June, 2014, the Lubarma Market lease agreement vanished, but UPP has since managed to retrieve it by the power of the Spirit of God and it is secure in our possession for further drastic action against the corrupt and crooked PF regime.
9. On 5th July, 2014 the PF Regime announced that the lease agreement was going to be re-negotiated, but this has not been done due to Chinese corruption and the PF “Working in Reverse” syndrome.
10. Twenty nine (29) of the market shops are occupied by Chinese traders, 7 Nigerians, 4 Lebanese and 5 Tanzanians, among others. This is evidence of how the Chinese have taken over ordinary market trading, which must be a preserve of Zambians.
11. China Hainan was charging rentals in dollars and during the free fall of the Kwacha against the dollar in 2013/14 traders were affected since China Hainan continued to demand payments either in dollars or Kwacha equivalent. Market shops that were rented at US$1, 000 (K3, 000) per month, for instance, were now going for K13, 900. This increase was close to 500% in rental payment. In this context, if a shop owner had paid K30, 000 as 6 months in advance this became 2 months rental under the prevailing economic conditions. During this period, Zambian market traders accrued rental debts in excess of K3 million in a very short period of time. Clearly, this is unsustainable and the Ministry of Commerce must bailout these struggling traders who have families to care for in their own country.
12. On 21st October, 2015, the Bank of Zambia issued a directive to stop dollar pricing in the country. Nonetheless, China Hainan pegged the exchange rate at K10 per dollar even when the Kwacha has over the past year appreciated to a single digit (though stage managed). This is exploitative and illegal.
13. In 2015, fifty six (56) market shop traders took the matter to court in an attempt to stop China Hainan from exploiting them.
14. On 30th June, 2016, the Lusaka High Court delivered the judgment under cause number 2015/HP/197. The judgement, which is somehow vague, but was in favour of the applicants (market traders) in terms of directing China Hainan to only apply the dollar rental policy for the period before the Bank of Zambia directive. This means that China Hainan may not apply dollar equivalent rentals – it should not even determine a fixed exchange rate. Rentals must be charged in Kwacha without making any reference to the dollar exchange rate.
15. While the judgement gives China Hainan the liberty to evict market shop traders for failure to pay arrears, due consideration should be made on the basis of the primary economic conditions which put these hard working marketeers in such a situation. The PF Government was solely responsible for running down the economy through corruption of which bogus Chinese contractors have been paymasters of corruption.
We, in the UPP, commend Hon. Vincent Mwale, the Minister of Local Government, for his efforts, earlier in the year, to speak to China Hainan on behalf of the struggling marketeers.
Shockingly, the evidence in our possession shows that Hon. Given Lubinda, the Minister of Justice, has acted as the Judas Iscariot of our time by being the lead crucifier of Zambian market shop traders. He has also acted in a manner which is contrary to the Parliamentary and Ministerial Code of Conduct Act. Hon. Lubinda has aided the enforcement of the eviction of Zambian traders on whom court bailiffs pounced last week on Friday – commodities have been seized and shops closed by China Hainan. Our people have been thrown into the streets to join millions of young people who are not in employment.
UPP will be issuing a comprehensive statement on the mischief that Hon. Lubinda has committed, contrary to the provisions of the law. We are happy to note that in his own words (as per our evidence) he admitted that what he was doing (interfering in the course of justice) was illegal. He also abused his office of authority of office to have said, in his own words, that he had consulted the Solicitor General in a matter which is purely private.
China Hainan (Z) Limited has several road sector construction projects across the country and we do not expect them to show ingratitude to this country by milking blood out of the weak and poor people of Zambia whose government has kissed and gone to bed with Chinese corruption.
As progressive nationalists and revolutionary crusaders, we are enchanted and fortified to intensify the new struggle for justice in the land.
Zambia has practically become a Chinese Protectorate and the PF Regime and the immediate past MMD regime have facilitated the sale of the nation’s soul.
The struggle for independence was about land and the people of Zambia cannot claim to be independent when their own land and economy have been taken over by the Chinese through the nauseous PF corruption and bad leadership. Enough is enough!
God bless our nation!
#UPP: #Dignity & #Justice for #All!
About Mirriam Chabala
Mirriam Chabala is a Zambian journalist who covers current affairs and writes in-depth feature articles on social issues.
Email: mirriam [at] diggers [dot] news
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