By OSCAR MALIPENGA
THE Committee of Cabinet Ministers appointed by President Edgar Lungu to oversee the rehabilitation of City Market has raised over K12.5 million through pledges from various stakeholders.
And Vice President, Inonge Wina, who is committee chairperson, has clarified that the reconstruction of Lusaka City Market would take at least 12 months.
Speaking at the launch of the fund for the rehabilitation of markets in Zambia, Mrs Wina said other sites where the traders would be temporarily relocated would be made available for use in approximately six weeks.
“We urge all well-wishers to channel all funds for this activity through the Disaster Management and Mitigation Unit (DMMU) under the Office of the Vice President.
“This is to avoid unscrupulous people taking advantage of the situation,” Mrs Wina said.
She said a team of defence force engineers has already started working on the relocation sites and provided comfort for the agreed time of approximately six weeks.
“During a meeting, the office of the Accountant General was charged with the responsibility of urgently opening an account which would sit at the Bank of Zambia and that all well-wishers including the corporate world would deposit funds into this account through various commercial banks,” Mrs Wina said.
She said raising funds required appealing to sympathizers, adding that it was resolved that there be a fundraising venture to launch the account at the Office of the Vice President and extend invitations to potential well-wishers.
“We are here today to appeal to the corporate entities and individuals to come forward with pledges and contributions to this noble cause. To show solidarity to the families of those affected by the tragedy,” Mrs Wina said.
During a fundraising breakfast, the Office of the Vice President through the Ministry of Finance donated K10, 000, 000 while the Citizens Economic Empowerment Commission donated K1,000, 000.
Others were permanent secretaries K250,000 (K5,000 each), Patriotic Front (PF) and independent members of Parliament K150,000, Bankers Association of Zambia K350, 000, ZSIC K150, 000, Magic Adverting K25,000 and Uncle T group of companies K40,000.
Individuals were Defence Minister Davis Mwila K20,000, Infrastructure and Housing Minister Ronald Chitotela K20, 000, Transport and Communications Minister Brian Mushimba K20,000, Tourism Minister Charles Banda K10,000 and Mwansabombwe PF member of Parliament Rogers Mwewa donated K15,000 among others.