from ARNOLD MULENGA in Lusaka, Zambia
LUSAKA, (CAJ News) – ZAMBIA’S new administration is battling the prevalence of unscrupulous individuals collecting revenues from transport operators and informal traders purportedly on behalf of the government.
This trend has continued despite warnings by new president, Haikande Hichilema, amid concern some of these bogus individuals are from his United Party for National Development (UPND) party, in power since winning polls held in August.
These controversial agents have continued their practices despite councils have started collecting revenue from bus stations and markets.
“I am however disturbed by reports that there are still incidents of people who are posing as political cadres continuing to illegally collect fees. This is unacceptable,” Hichilema said.
He ordered law enforcers to crack down on the culprits.
“The police do not need to be prompted as they have full powers to arrest such individuals,” the president said.
He added, “You as traders must also ensure you report those individuals to law enforcement without fear of retaliation.”
Hichilema also called for accountability for funds collected before local government resumed collecting revenues.
“All the money that was collected before the councils resumed must be followed through and accounted for. Tell us where cadres are still collecting fees meant for the council.”
The new president, a former opposition leader, faces a formidable task restoring the economy searing under the heavy burden of debt.
He also must rein on public disorder, particularly among youth, amid unemployment.
Some ruling party youth, over-excited at Hichilema’s victory in the August 12 polls, went on a rampage, looting shops and vandalising property in celebration.
– CAJ News