Civilised traders reject barbaric protest
Kalabo, January 8, ZANIS ——–Kalabo Merchants Association has joined its counterparts the Kalabo Traders Association in condemning the planned demonstration against a Chinese investor who has open a retail shop in the area.
Association spokesperson Samuel Masiye who expressed his displeasure at a move by some disgruntled traders told ZANIS in an interview that, the association would not condone any of its members indulging in retrogressive activities in the district.
Mr Masiye said the coming of investors in the district was the right direction to development which he said should be embraced by all meaningful Zambians.
He said it was sad to note that locals resorted to fighting investors who were merely bringing the much desired development in the district.
“For us when we see investors it is a plus towards development. If for them buying goods from Lusaka is expensive let them start buying from the investor and if they want to challenge him let them reduce their prices,” Mr Masiye advised.
On Monday about five traders stormed ZANIS offices protesting over a Chinese investor who has opened a retail shop accusing him of stealing their customers.
Traders threatened to hold a demonstration so that the investor could be relocated to a place outside the central business district for allegedly selling the same goods with locals at a lower price.
But Kalabo Business and Traders Association Chairman David Nyundu stated that competition was healthy as it helped to improve the way of doing business bearing in mind that Zambia is a liberalised economy.
And Kalabo District Commissioner Irene Mate appealed to the business community to desist from attacking foreign investors but instead learn to co-exist.
Mrs Mate said Kalabo being the least developed district in Western province, needed investors for a much desired facelift adding that the move by local traders to reject outsiders was detrimental to both social and economic development.
The District Commissioner feared that the Mongu/Kalabo road would be a white elephant if local people cannot embrace outsiders, adding that the district cannot afford to work in isolation or remain an island.