Leader of the Opposition in Parliament Jack Mwiimbu says President Edgar Lungu’s directive to remove all cadres from bus stations and markets should be implemented with the seriousness it deserves.
In an interview, Mwiimbu said while he welcomed the Head of State’s directive to remove unruly party cadres from the two facilities, his party was concerned that this would end up as a public relations stunt.
“We hope that this particular directive will be carried out by the responsible authorities. If they don’t, us, as UPND, we will continue speaking on behalf of Zambians and I have no doubt in my mind, Zambians have heard the message loud and clear. If it turns out to be a public relations stunt, that will be very sad. As you may be aware, InterCity is an international bus station; the image of the country is being reflected as to what is happening at that particular bus station. The same as the largest market in Lusaka, Soweto and City Market; they are not only Zambians who are trading from these areas. They have been harassed on several occasions,” Mwiimbu said.
“So, the reputation of the Zambian government will be at stake. So, it will be up to them to ensure that this is done for the sake of the traveling public and the traders at this market. So, for us, as the UPND, we have noted what the President has directed, that they will carry it out. We will take an appropriate action after two weeks, we will not want to reveal what we want to do after that.”
He, however, said that the party expressed gratitude that President Lungu had finally realised the trauma, which had been caused by cadres in markets and bus stations.
”I would like to express our happiness that, finally, the PF has released the presence of PF cadres in markets and bus stations has caused trauma in the lives of our people in Zambia. For a long time, now, we have been crying for the removal of party cadres from bus stations and markets all over Zambia. We have raised these issues on several occasions and the PF have always been denying presence of party cadres in bus stations and cadres; finally, as it is always the case, the President makes a statement, every other member of the PF tolls the line,” said Mwiimbu, who is also Monze Central UPND member of parliament.
“We have noticed that even those denying the presence of cadres in bus stations and markets are now admitting that the party cadres are now there and are harassing members of the public and business people operating from these premises.”