The Parliamentary Committee on Local Governance, Housing and Chiefs’ Affairs has unearthed a scam where the Patriotic Front (PF) leadership in Kabwe collects about K1,000 every Saturday from Bus drivers on the pretext that they will speak to senior party officials on their behalf.

And Kasanda Market traders have submitted to the Parliamentary Committee that they should be compensated before construction of a modern market can commence.

Parliamentary Committee Chairperson Newton Samakayi, who is also Mwinilunga UPND member of parliament, said the committee had received a lot of reports from members of the public on the operations and management of bus stations and markets in the country and consequently embarked on a fact finding mission.

“As a committee, we received a lot of concerns on the implementation of the Markets and Bus Stations Act and generally on the performance of the markets. As a committee that offers oversight checks and balances on the performance of the Executive, we realised that it was important we investigate. To help us investigate, we request stakeholders to come and give us evidence. And that evidence was given 3-months ago to the committee. But we felt it was not just enough to get views from Lusaka and therefore, embarked on tour of these facilities beginning with Lusaka and we are now in here in Kabwe,” Samakayi said.

When the committee visited the Intra-Town Bus Station in Kabwe, a visibly annoyed bus driver, Clement Sikanyika, disclosed that they were made to pay K1,000 each to the PF leadership in the district so that they could speak for them to authorities.

“We give money to the PF every Saturday as sections. We have 4 sections, and the money varies depending on the section. In my Section as Chairperson, I pay K200. In total we give the PF K1, 000 every Saturday. We were told that if we have challenges, they (PF) will help us but they have failed to honour their promise,” said Sikanyika.

Committee Chair Samakayi reprimanded Bus and Drivers Association representative, Lucky Talanti popularly known as “Nkana” for lying to the committee in his submission to them.

And Kasanda Market traders submitted to the Parliamentary Committee through their spokesperson Pearson Kache that they should be compensated first before construction of a modern market could commence.

“We built these shops ourselves. All we are demanding for is that we be compensated before any construction can begin. Moreover, as traders we may not manage to be in the modern market because we have examples such as Zimbabwe Market in Livingstone, Soweto Market in Lusaka and Nakadoli in Kitwe were traders have failed to get back because of high charges. Look at the ‘new Soweto market’! Traders have failed to get there because shops there are as high as K7, 000. We cannot afford to pay such an amount because most of us, our working capital is at most only K1, 000,” said Kache.