NEWLY appointed Local Government Minister Gary Nkombo says the holiday is over for political cadres who are patronising bus stations and markets.

Speaking to Ministry of Local Government officials during an orientation meeting, Thursday, Nkombo said the PF government had made certain laws like the Market and Bus Stations Act moribund just to appease political cadres.

“As we start on our new journey, I can assure you without doubt in my mind, that you will begin to see the good side of us. We are coming from the old school, who had their own manifesto. We have our manifesto which we are now going to share with you and see if we can implement our programmes through that same document that will help us to better the lives of the people whose aspirations we hope to serve. It may not be an easy journey because from the outside where we have been, things look broken,” Nkombo said.

“Where we find things are okay, we will not touch them, we will not fix them, but where things are visibly broken, for instance the old regime deliberately made certain laws moribund. The Markets and Bus Station Act was put on the shelf, I am sure it is there. But because of appeasing people, a small sector of people, people called cadres. This is a Ministry that has interfaced with these cadres in the markets, in the bus stops, we will come with a clear vision and mission that the holiday is over for those type of people.”

And Nkombo said any government that puts a blind eye to criminality was not worthy to be called a government.

“If time allows, I would like to go to Soweto Market because I am told there was a notorious station called ‘Kamugodi’. I want to visit that place today. I am sure that even you yourselves may not know where that place is because it was a place that was housing criminals. Any government that puts a blind eye to criminality to me is not worthy to be called a government. If the government is the one sponsoring terrorism, it is not worthy,” he said.

“We were voted in by people, some of them of a similar calibre of those who had seized markets, it is our job now to make sure that that ugly face does not show itself ever again in this country. So, we will do our part in order to make sure that what we preach the normalcy, people’s liberations, people must be free to walk the streets of Zambia, Lusaka, Ndola everywhere un-interfered because we belong to this political party must be days of yesteryears.”

And speaking after inspecting Soweto Market, Nkombo said people must be free to belong to any political party of their choice.

He said it was heartbreaking that despite the presence of police at the market, marketeers who supported other parties were intimidated or mistreated.

“It is heartbreaking; I saw a police station 500 meters from here, this a state police station and they could allow activities of a torture chamber to happen just at their foot. I have been appointed Minister of Local Government and Housing, responsible for markets and bus stations for the purposes of this visit. All buildings in the city are under the jurisdiction of the Local Government. It will be interesting to learn from the absolute owner of this premise how the PF managed to come in and rent a place disguising themselves to be doing legal work and turn [the] room as a torture chamber. It is disheartening,” said Nkombo.

“This Kamugodi to us was a fairy tale, we didn’t believe that it existed. I would like to engage the owners of this building at least so that we can get information about how people settled here. This was organized crime, organized by the state. I would like to state that using the Ministry responsible for law and order, we are going to get to the bottom of this, who was financing these activities? They will be brought to book. They must answer questions about why they put society in harm’s way. What we would like to state is that nothing of this nature will ever exist in this country for the longest time to come. Everybody must be given the freedom of choice to belong to any political party including the PF.”