Traders at Comesa Market petition Local Government Minister

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Tenants of Granny’s Bakery (Agogo’s) newly built shops off Kafue Road have petitioned Minister of Local Government Charles Banda to address the problem of encroachment and obstruction in the area.

In a letter dated August 28, 2019 seen by Zambian Eye, the tenants expressed concern about the makeshift structures that have been erected around Granny’s Bakery and Kanele Mall which are blocking access to their shops (as can be seen in the picture).

The said structures have been constructed on a gazetted road.

The tenants say the situation is compromising the status of the area as a high class commercial development zone and inconveniencing legal business owners and service providers in terms of access to the premises.

“As tenants we are deeply concerned about the makeshift structures that have been erected around Granny’s Bakery. These illegal structures are constructed on the designated road reserves. The situation is compromising the status of the area as a high class commercial development zone and inconveniencing legal business owners and service providers in terms of access to the premises,” reads the letter in part.

The tenants further state that the Lusaka City Council is aware of the prevailing situation and have issued numerous enforcement notices to the illegal developers to demolish the structures – which they have failed to execute.

The tenants are now seeking the Minister’s intervention to compel the Lusaka City Council to execute the enforcement notices.

And a tenant spoken to by Zambian Eye expressed frustration at the Lusaka City Council’s failure to enforce the law in the area, a situation she says has derailed her business.

“We’re very disappointed with the council. Can you imagine a situation where you wake up and find that someone has built a house in front of your doorstep?” the tenant who spoke on condition of anonymity asked, adding “That’s the message the council is sending, that anyone can build on your doorstep and restrict access to your own house! Is that the direction this country is headed?”

Recently, a representative of Granny’s Bakery told a Zambian Eye staffer that the company’s quest to provide safe and low-cost trading space is being derailed by illegal activity in the area.

“This project would have been completed a long time ago but for some unscrupulous characters calling themselves a market committee who have been frustrating our efforts to improve trading conditions in this area,” said the company representative, further revealing that the said market committee who have gone to the extent of threatening Granny’s Bakery employees with violence.

The company representative further expressed regret that the relevant authorities have not been as supportive as hoped for.

“The council has issued numerous warnings and notices to demolish these illegal structures but nothing has worked so far. But we’re still engaging the local authority in the hope that decisive action will finally be taken. Remember, this is for their benefit too because the money that has been going into the pockets of unscrupulous individuals will go into council coffers.”

Meanwhile, Zambian Eye has been informed that power utility company ZESCO’s concerns about the illegal structures that are restricting access to their Kafue Road substation have repeatedly fallen on deaf ears.

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Start: 2019-07-01 End: 2019-07-31