Mwanakatwe makes surprise visit to Kamwala, shops told to charge in Kwacha

Minister of Commerce, Trade and Industry Margaret Mwanakatwe
Minister of Commerce, Trade and Industry Margaret Mwanakatwe

Minister of Commerce and Trade Margaret Mwanakatwe says there is need to review the 65 years lease of the Lubarma Market in the Kamwala trading area in Lusaka.
Ms. Mwanakatwe said this in Lusaka yesterday when she made a surprise visit to Kamwala trading area on complaints from traders that they are charged in US Dollars.
The traders also complained of poor sanitary conditions and high rental charge and the lack of servicing of the infrastructure.
Ms. Mwanakatwe was accompanied by her counterpart at the Ministry of Local government and housing John Phiri, the Mayor of the City of Lusaka George Nyendwa and his Town Clerk Alex Mwansa, Commerce Permanent Secretary Siazongo Siakalenge and Lusaka District Commissioner Davison Mulenga.
The Kamwala trading area was constructed in 2002 under a 65 years Lease agreement by China Hennan, who has continued collecting rentals.
She said it is sad to note that despite the high rentals at the trading area, traders are also charged in US Dollar which is against government regulation.
Ms. Mwanakatwe said the high rental rates are not being helpful to the ordinary Zambian.
She said it is important that the terms of the lease benefit both the Zambian people and the contractor.
Meanwhile Local Government and Housing Minister John Phiri has directed the Lusaka City council to furnish his office with a detailed report on the way forward.
Dr. Phiri stressed on the need to have projects that benefit the local people at grassroot level because they are key to the development of the economy.
He said it is also important to create enabling environment for the growth of small scale traders to expand, but difficult trading conditions and high rentals coupled with service charge is hindering their growth.