BY NCHIMUNYA MIYOBA
Residents in Kitwe are annoyed that foreign nationals especially Chinese have invaded the retail, poultry farming and block making business.
They said foreign nationals particularly the Chinese trading in Zambia should be restricted to wholesale trading only and give chance to the Zambians to trade in retail.
Stakeholders in Kitwe have proposed that policy makers should put together the pieces of legislation that will govern trade in the country if ordinary Zambians are to benefit.
Speaking during a public consultative meeting on the implementation of the Statutory Instrument No 1 of 2017 in Kitwe today, the stakeholders said Zambians have been neglected by government in doing business.
They said local traders have been unfairly treated compared to the foreigners as seen by the growing numbers of them in markets across the country.
They emphasized that foreign nationals need to recognise that Zambia is a country of laws and as such they need to respect the trading laws.
They said the people doing business feel that government does not protect them because of unclear laws that govern trade in the country.
And Kitwe District Commissioner Binwell Mpundu said in order to implement Statutory Instrument No.1 of 2017; the local leadership from district administration and local government has commenced a series of stakeholders meeting with the local business community in both the informal and formal sectors to find a solution for the growing agitation for foreign nationals.
Mr Mpundu said the law that applies to foreign traders is the same as those applied to the local people adding that the Zambian laws don’t segregate individuals or the color.
Mr Mpundu Zambia is a signatory to many agreements in the region as such local traders need to be careful when making decisions.
He added that the resolutions that will come out of the meetings will shape the destiny of the country.
Meanwhile Kitwe Mayor Christopher Kang’ombe said there is need to come with a conducive business environment for everyone to participate fully.
Mr Kang’ombe said the issue of foreign nationals trading in Zambia is a national problem and need to be resolved amicably by all stakeholders involved.
He said the issue is creating a social problem in society affecting other dimensions of society such security, safety and public relations of the country.
The S.I No 1 of 2017 is meant to reserve certain businesses to Zambians such as selling of chickens in Markets as well as transportation of public procured goods.
Stakeholders that were present came from CEEC, Kitwe Chamber of Commerce, Mines Suppliers and Contractors, market and street vendors associations among others.