No more staying in those offices, no more putting on ties, newly appointed Lusaka Province Minister Bowman Lusambo told council officials yesterday.

Lusambo was speaking to journalists after he toured the Central Business Districts.

“I want to make sure that all the people who are working in the local authority, no more staying in those offices, no more putting on ties. We are here not to put on ties. The people of Zambia voted for us not to go and put on ties in those offices. They voted for us to put on gumboots and overalls to come and work with you, and we will work,” Lusambo said.

“You will be seeing all of us here, myself, the DC, the mayor, all of them will be working everyday. We can go in our offices for two minutes but most of the job is outside in the field because we don’t have people in those offices. The people are here.”

Lusambo said he would work with Lusaka Mayor Wilson Kalumba to keep vendors off the streets but instead give them alternative trading places.

“The next step is to sit with the Lusaka Mayor and other authorities to clear the corridor at City Market. We want equal trading opportunity with our people. The people who are in the market have school going children as well. We have lame excuses coming from our people [that] ‘no I’m a widow, I have have orphans’, bonse bantu, nabashitisha mu ma market nabalyabene beleshitisha panse, bantu (you are all equal, those selling inside the market and those selling outside the market) . So we want to give them the same trading environment,” he said.

“The most important thing for us as government is to make sure that we protect our people. As government of his Excellence Edgar Chagwa Lungu, we have come up with a policy that we don’t need street vendors in our CBDs…I will make sure that I work with the committees for these markets to work as a team and give a good trading area for our people. I have come here not to work alone. I have come here to work with you people, with you the media houses. Together we will change the case of Lusaka. We have come to transform Lusaka. We are coming from the Copperbelt province and Lusaka is just like Copperbelt. I can assure you that I’m equal to the task and together we will win.”

Meanwhile, Lusambo said he was very impressed with how clean the CBD had become.

“Namu wama mu town (the town is clean) so we only need to trade in the markets. We are trying by all means to make sure that we provide alternative trading places for our people. We need to provide tents as a priority number one to protect our people. And to that effect I will make sure that I contact our colleagues, the private sector, if we can acquire some tents so that we can help our marketeers here,” said Lusambo.

But one of the marketeers complained that those who were trading from inside City Market were hardly selling anything.

Abaleshitisha ni aba bali mumbali mwa city market. Futi market ino ileloka insapato shileonaika. Tuledandaula kubuteko itubikileko elo li tent. Tulefwayako na security pano pa market ifintu baletwibila ubushiku. (Those selling are the ones trading from outside. Again, our shoes are getting soaked because the market is leaking [when it rains], so as government, you should provide a tent for us. We also want security because our things are getting stolen in the night),” said the marketeer.