Minister of Home Affairs Stephen Kampyongo has warned of stern action against Zambian traders who are in the habit of leasing their trading spaces to foreign nationals who have no legal status.

And Kampyongo has asked all foreign nationals trading illegally in the streets and markets of Zambia to leave the country before the law finds them.

During a press briefing held at his office on Tuesday, Kampyongo who is also PF national youth Chairman said Zambians who are leasing their trading space to foreign nationals would forfeit their property to the State.

“The Zambia police service and other law enforcement agencies will henceforth be deployed in adequate numbers on the ground and they will monitoring the allocation process of market stands by the Lusaka City Council. This is to ensure that those who wish to disturb public peace and order are identified and dealt with in accordance with the law,” Kampyongo said.

“In the same vein, all foreign nationals who trade illegally on our streets and markets might as well leave the country on their own accord. I am saying, all foreign nations who have got no legitimate status and have been trading either on the streets or markets should consider living on their own accord [because] we are not going to condone their illegal activities anymore. From what you saw among those that were arrested by the police, out of the 55, we have identified some foreign nationals who were part of the confusion. So the immigration department shall therefore be equally involved in the allocation of trading places to ensure that only Zambians and foreign nationals who are in the country legally are allocated trading places. And to those Zambians who opt to lease trading spaces to foreigners without legal status would forfeit their trading spaces and be dealt with in accordance with the law.”

And Kampyongpo observed that some opposition political parties were colluding with non vendors to cause confusion in the reallocation process of trading stands.

“It has come to the attention of the Ministry of Home Affairs that individuals who are neither street vendors nor marketeers are trying very hard to disrupt the programme of poor persons in Zambia trading in recognised markets with appropriate facilities embarked on by the Ministry of Local Government. To those pretending to champion the cause of law abiding street vendors and marketeers, they can not deceive government because we as Patriotic Front have been working with the street vendors and marketeers prior to the year 2011,” said Kampyongo.

“They have proactive associations and market committees which are very well known and these are the stakeholders who are being engaged to resolve matters to do with trading in the city and various market places. Therefore, genuine street vendors and marketeers should not panic at all because they are well represented on the allocation committees which are working with the local government and will in due course be allocated trading places in designated markets.”