LINDA SOKO TEMBO writes
A BY-LAW should be formulated to prevent foreign investors from engaging in retail (small) businesses, which can be done by Zambians, Lusaka City Council (LCC) standing committee on Agriculture, Environment and Natural Resources has recommended.
The recommendation followed a discovery that some foreign investors were engaging in “small” businesses such as selling of chickens in markets.
In a statement issued to the Sun, LCC Public Relations Manager, George Sichimba, said the discovery was made in the early hours of Friday 3, 2019 when the committee undertook a surprise tour of Soweto, City Market and Michael Chilufya markets for on the sport check.
Mr Sichimba said the tour was conducted following numerous complaints from marketeers that foreign investors had invaded markets with low priced commodities thereby creating unfair competition.
He said three people were apprehended for allegedly selling chickens on behalf of Chinese investors and taken to Civic Center where they were interrogated by the committee before being released.
“The committee wanted to extract more information from the three in a friendly environment as they were not free to do so at the market. When interrogated, they disclosed that chickens weighing one kilogram are selling at an average price of K14.50 when Zambians sell similar chickens at double the price,” he said.
Mr Sichimba said however, the workers refuted allegations that chickens reared by the Chinese national matured in three weeks because of the “special” feed given to them adding that they were involved in the feeding of the chickens matured in 42 days (6 weeks).
Meanwhile committee chairperson, Patrick Mwansa, who is also Ward 12 Councillor, said his committee would do everything possible to protect Zambians from unfair competition created by foreign investors who had invaded local markets.
Mr Mwansa said it was better that foreign investors concentrated on production of goods and engaged in wholesaling at markets.
“I urge foreign investors to engage Zambians as middlemen in the supply chain other than them engaging in direct sell of commodities in markets at retail level. Involving Zambians in the supply chain will not only empower them economically but also equip them with skills to help them stand on their own in future,” he said.
Mr Mwansa said it was not fair that as elected leaders they sit back and watch when people complained about unfair competition, adding that, they would do everything possible to change this.