A public protest by youths who were cheated of votes by Edgar Lungu on the reopening of the Mulungushi Textiles awaits Edgar Lungu tomorrow as he goes to Kabwe to officially commission the incomplete Kabwe Shopping Mall. The farmers and agro dealers who have not been paid for their produce have also vowed to join in the protest.
Sources from Kabwe have told the Watchdog that because of the feared protests, security in Kabwe has intensified with a horde of armed police men distributed in different parts of the usually calm town.
Several agro dealers who supplied farming inputs to over 10,000 farmers in Kabwe through the Farmer Input Support Programme (FISP) E-voucher scheme have to date not been paid as the e voucher card have not been activated. Efforts to engage Permanent Secretaries at Agriculture and Provincial levels have proved futile as PS Chanda Kabwe recently told the agro dealers that he has nothing to do with their case prompting them to threaten to ‘grab’ farm produce from the farmers who got the inputs.
And last year, Lungu lied to the people of Kabwe that the giant textile industry which is located next to the mall would be reopened and create over 5,000 direct and several other indirect jobs. A cosmetic painting to hoodwink the people was even undertaken with 300 initial workers employed but were fired early this year and have not been paid their dues.
Further the PF lied that a Japanese company Marubeni had been engaged to reopen the textile but the lie was refuted by the Japanese embassy as there was no such agreement with any Japanese company.