Traders and business owners who were affected by the burning of the Lusaka City Market have been advised to exercise patience as plans of reconstructing the market are still in progress.
Lusaka City Market Secretary John Njobvu, said the reconstruction of the business center is on hold because government is trying to complete the new Simon Mwewa Market so that the traders can relocate there while the Lusaka City Market is being reconstructed.
We are urging everyone to be patient as we are waiting for the structure at Simon Mwewa market to be completed so that some of them [traders] can be moved as we wait for the National Pension Scheme Authority (NAPSA) to fund the reconstruction of the market,Njobvu said.
Mr. Njobvu added that the Disaster Management and Mitigation Unit ((DMMU) visited the site last week in order to temporarily cover the top gutted part of the market.
Last year, NAPSA was given a directive by the Ministry of Local Government to help reconstruct the market when some corporate partners that pledged to help government reconstruct the gutted market did not honour their pledges.
Meanwhile, Gift Simusemba , former Lusaka City Market chairperson, has commended government on its success in sourcing funds to complete the structure at Simon Mwewa Market in order for traders to be moved to the structure during reconstruction.
We are in hard times and the government is trying to finish up the Simon Mwewa Market because they cannot just chase people out of City Market so that they can reconstruct it,Simusemba said.
And Justin Nkhoma, one of the victims of the incident, has appealed to the government to quicken the process in order for him and other traders to try and pick up where they left off after the unfortunate incident.
In 2017, the Lusaka City Market caught fire, making many traders in the area to lose their property and trading places.
The reconstruction of the market is one of the projects that the Ministry of Local Government is working on towards ensuring that all districts have modern markets and bus stations.