The ruling Patriotic Front cadres at the New Soweto Market have shared over K1.4 billion meant for the market development committee members that spearheaded the construction of the new market by the European Union (EU).
According to sources, the EU had allocated the money to pay people that were working on the construction of the market including the committee members that were surpervising and mobilizing the work.
The K1.4 billion was meant to be paid to the Market Development Committee (MDC) members and those that were temporarily employed during the project.
However, in December last year, the PF through Local Government Minister Emerine Kabanshi decided to give the money to their cadres some of whom did not even play a role in the construction of the New Soweto Market.
The cadres were paid through the Soweto branch of Investruct Bank PLC and the cadres have since been bragging to those that were omitted from the payment schedule on suspicion that they belonged to the opposition despite being contracted to the project.
“After the New Soweto Market was done, we were supposed to be paid about K10 million each. Since 2010, we have been waiting to be paid until the elections came and the issue was quiet. Surprisingly, we just heard in December last year that some of the people we were working with were paid.
“These people were paid between K19 million to about K85 million each. We have since been pushing for payment but nothing has been coming forth. So we decided to write the Minister Emerine Kabanshi to ask why we have not being paid. In her response, we were told that our work was voluntary,” the source said, wondering, “But how can it be so when we were given terms of reference and agreed on payments?” the source wondered.
The source said they have since learnt that most of the people that have been paid were those that claimed to have supported the PF in the 2011 general elections while others are perceived to be in the opposition.
When the construction of New Soweto Market began, the marketers formed the Market Development Committee. The committee members were initially told to abandon their daily market schedules and redirect their energies towards the construction of the new market in anticipation of payment at the end of the project.
The committee members were totaling 38 had market stands at the old market which they demolished to pave way for the construction of the New Soweto Market.
“When this project started, we mobilized all the marketeers and shifted to a garage called Isaac until the New Soweto Market was completed. The government then gave us identity cards and terms of reference that guided our work. We were very assured that since we had stopped our businesses to focus on supervising the construction of the new market, we would be paid for our effort,” the source said.
The information on the identity cards shows that they were issued under the coat of arms logo and signed by then Local Government permanent secretary Maswabi Maimbolwa on June 1, 2005.