The Lusaka City Council (LCC) has refuted allegations that some merchandise was looted by Council and State police during the demolition exercise of illegal makeshift shops in Kamwala.

In a statement, Tuesday, acting council public relations manager George Sichimba stated that contrary to the assertions, the merchandise was returned to shop owners.

“The Lusaka City Council yesterday returned merchandise found in 11 demolished illegal makeshift shops in Kamwala to owners (traders). Contrary to assertions that the merchandise was looted by Council and State police during the demolition exercise, the merchandise was taken to Civic Center for safe keeping. During operations of such nature, state police is involved to make sure that the merchandise found in targeted premises is not looted. Among the merchandise found in demolished shops were footwear, Salaula, mobile phones and accessories and groceries. Others were artificial hair products, hand bags, compact discs (CDs) and a computer monitor. Affected traders were invited to Civic Center to identify their merchandise and have them back. LCC wishes to advise traders to follow the laid down procedure to acquire trading space/shops to avoid inconveniences like what happened in Kamwala,” Sichimba stated.

He said the council had resolved to bring down structures, as a routine exercise in a bid to maintain sanity around the city.

“The policy of the Council now is that all illegal structures must be brought down in the local authority’s quest to maintain sanity in the city. Residents should not fall prey to people allocating plots or trading space without the authority of council as they may end up losing their resources when structures are demolished. LCC does not take pleasure in demolishing structures but illegality must not left unchecked as it has the potential of retarding the city’s development and a receipe for outbreaks of diseases such Cholera,” stated Sichimba.