Lusaka Mayor Wilson Kalumba says there is nothing wrong with a few PF cadres to get together and form branches inside markets of bus stations. He has also said that vendors will be removed from the streets by April or May this year.
Kalumba’s comments come barely after a month when PF secretary general Davies Mwila directed PF cadres to take possession and toss out opposition cadres from markets and bus stations in Kabwe because they were in leadership.
“There is nothing wrong for a bus driver to belong to a political party and if they are more they feel like forming a branch there that is ok. In fact whatever political party comes into power does that and the people who do it are the same cadres, they just change the party regalia” Kalumba said during a Sunday Interview on ZNBC TV1. The Mayor also refuted the violence unleashed by cadres but admitted that the same cadres were depriving the local authority of income.
But Kalumba’s comments are contrary to President Edgar Lungu who dissociated the party from Mwila’s outbursts. Lungu said that markets and bus stations are a public property and said that there should be no political parties in the facilities.
During the same programme, Kalumba announced that the Lusaka city council has secured money to get all vendors from the streets of the Central business district – CBD and relocate them into alleys and centre roads where the council will put up facilities like toilets and water.
And reacting to Kalumba’s comments, UPND chairperson for labour Percy Chanda said that the inconsistency in the PF leadership is sign that the party has no leadership abilities. Chanda urged the ruling party to term its cadres and focus on job creation.
“What is needed for those youthful vendors is creating jobs for them not unleashing them onto unsuspecting customers in markets and bus stations as Kalumba is implying. Putting them into alleys of other people’s shops wont be solution but will breed some mofre anti social vices. You have a party where the President is saying something and his rank and file are saying something different also,”said Chanda, a former PF MP for Kankoyo constituency in Mufulira.