By ALICE NACHILEMBE
The Lusaka City Council (LCC) standing committee on Agriculture, Environment and Natural Resources has made recommendation to Council that a by-law to prevent foreign investors from engaging in retail (small) businesses be formulated.
The recommendation follows a discovery that some foreign investors are engaging in “small” businesses such as selling of chickens in markets.
LCC Public Relations Manager George Sichimba said the discovery was made in the early hours of today when the committee undertook a surprise tour of Soweto, City Market and Micheal Chilufya markets for on the sport check.
Mr Sichimba said the tour was conducted following numerous complaints from marketeers that foreign investors have invaded markets with low priced commodities thereby creating unfair competition.
He said three people allegedly selling chickens on behalf of Chinese investors were apprehended and taken to Civic Center where they were interrogated by the committee before being released.
Mr Sichimba said 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 Zambian sell similar chickens at double the price, however, the workers refuted allegations that chickens reared by Chinese mature in three weeks because of the “special” feed given to them,” he said.
Chairperson of the committee, Patrick Mwansa who is also Kabulonga Ward 12 Councillor, said his committee will do everything possible to protect Zambians from unfair competition allegedly created by foreign investors who have invaded local markets.
Mr Mwansa said it is better that foreign investor’s concentration on production of goods and engage in wholesaling at markets.
The civic leader urged 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.
He observed that involving Zambians in the supply chain will not only empower them economically but also equip them with skills and capacity build them to stand on their own in future.
“Its not fair that as elected leaders we can sit back and watch when our people are complaining about unfair competition so we are going to do everything possible within our powers to change things,” he said.
Other members of the committee who were part of the tour are the Deputy Mayor, Ms Chilando Chitangala, Councillor Moses Bwalya, Councillor Douglas Tembo and Councillor Patrick Mwape.