STATE House security yesterday turned away Saviour Chishimba who had gone there to see President Edgar Lungu without an appointment.
And Chishimba says COMESA market traders have refused to move to another trading area because they believe that the State does not mean well.
Chishimba had gone to visit traders at Lusaka’s Comesa Market which was gutted last week and upon hearing the complaints of the traders, he decided to drive to State House to meet the Head of State without any appointment but was turned away.
He told journalists that he had wanted to have an emergency meeting with President Lungu to discuss what the marketeers had told him.
“Those marketeers are saying that they believe that the state does not mean well. They are saying if government says they will shift them to another area and then they wait for the State to build…in the first place, those structures that were there were built by those same traders, they were not built by the state. I want to seriously warn them that please don’t play with matters of food…don’t play with matters of food and what takes away the incomes of people. This matter will not end here. I am giving this regime a seven-day ultimatum. Let the President get the Zambia army to clear up that area and allow traders to go back to their trading areas. Let there be supplementary expenditure to give them something to reconstruct their livelihoods and this also concerns the marketeers at the Lusaka City market,” Chishimba said.
“They told us that it would take four weeks for them (City market traders) to go back to their trading areas. Let them go back…go to the markets on the Copperbelt, it is the same. If President Lungu can send five ministers to China to go and discuss Chinese interests…what kind of a Zambia are we building? We are in a crisis. I have to meet him and if they don’t allow me, I will take a mattress and go to State House and wait for him maybe he might meet me outside when he comes out because enough is enough. The citizens are tired. This is in the interest of Zambians…in the interest of those marketeers suffering. I am begging…I am here kneeling down; I am a son of a chief. I am humbling myself saying please President Lungu, for the sake of mothers, widows…I nearly wept there because there are a lot of people suffering in those markets.”
He said President Lungu should leave State House and do something for the people who voted for him.
“Get out of State House and please attend to those suffering widows and mothers. Lesa nimalyotola ba Lungu especially if you begin to disregard the orphans and the widows,” Chishimba said.
He said there was need for President Lungu to begin to respect the people that put him in office.
“When I went to State Hose on the strength of what President Edgar Lungu himself said when he was swearing in some senior government officials in 2016, he warned State House aides…he said ‘for me, my State House is open to every Zambian. I don’t want you to stop the people who come to see me’. You as the media, covered it. So I went there with this emergency to go and represent the people who are suffering in Zambia. When I got there, they stopped me. I said can I call the President’s desk, there is a desk and a phone there but they said no, you can’t. I wanted to call myself and tell the desk officer but they stopped me and asked me to write a letter but I told them it was an emergency. I wanted to go and represent the people of Zambia because we say the people of Zambia first,” said Chishimba.
“I told them to give me a paper there and pen then so that I could write and leave it there. So, started writing the letter and they chased me from there as if it was not a public place. They were there until I finished writing the letter under duress, which I have since delivered. My message is that the President must be in the business if delivering on the promises he made to the people of Zambia. On this one, let him do it; that is why I am telling you the media because I don’t know if the letter will reach him because we in the UPP have been writing letters to State House on national issues because we don’t want to take everything to the public. Some things are of security nature…there are secrets. I understand how government runs. I am not a leader who is training on the job. So, I was trying to work in the spirit but I have been stopped.”