Minister Nkombo vows to bring sanity in local govt

Newly appointed Local Government and Housing Minister, Garry Nkombo has pledged to bring back sanity and normalcy to the markets and bus stations in the country.

LUSAKA – The new Minister of Local Government and Housing, Gary Nkombo, has pledged to bring common sense and normality to markets and bus stations across the country.

This was revealed when he took an orientation tour of the Lusaka Intercity Bus Terminal, Soweto Market and infamous Kamugodi to familiarize himself with the difficulties faced by bus drivers and vendors.

After visiting the infamous Kamugodi, Nkombo stopped at the new Soweto Market before continuing to the InterCity bus terminal.

While in Kamugodi, Minister Nkombo pledged to shed light on the origins of the infamous America 2 and its gang, which terrorized Soweto market traders under the previous regime.

Later, at the Soweto market, Nkombo tried to understand the plight of the traders and promised to make sure the issues were properly addressed.

After visiting Inter City, he asked management where the dreaded America 1 was, but was told that he and his team disappeared after PF lost in the election.

The popular Mazabuka lawmaker also promised that political cadres would never return to terrorize innocent citizens in markets and bus stops.

Earlier on Thursday, he held a familiarization meeting with the Ministry of Local Government and Housing Permanent Secretary, Matthews Ngulube as well as a number of departmental directors and their deputies.

Nkombo has also implored the directors of departments at the Ministry not to be unsettled by the new change. 

“This is the Ministry that has interface with the cadres. I want to charge that for those who have been terrorising our marketeers, holiday is over,” he said. 

He charged that: “We believe that you are the engine of the Ministry. That means if you fail, we are all going to fail. You are my new family and I will ensure that I consult you on a lot of issues so that we achieve the objective of the Ministry.

“Where am not clear, I will ask questions, and please give me the answers. Things are visibly broken and those that are broken, we will touch but those that are okay, we will not touch them. We expect transparency and accountability in the execution of their duties,” he said.

He also charged that the UPND was resolved to bring to an end the lawlessness and impunity that has for a long time characterised the running of markets and bus stations by political party cadres.

“This is the Ministry that has interface with the cadres. I want to charge that for those who have been terrorising our marketeers, holiday is over,” he said.

Nkombo also stressed that the UPND-led government would not shy away from its pledge of bringing back sanity to the Markets and Bus stations. 

The directors and their assistants were led by the Ministry’s Permanent Secretary, Matthews Ngulube. 

In his short sermon drawn from the Bible book of Isaiah 45, renowned SDA Pastor Kufor admonished Minister Nkombo to execute his duties diligently with honesty and integrity, stressing that God was the one who appoints leaders. 

“Hon. Nkombo, God, has brought you here for a purpose. Therefore, do the best to the glory of God and for the good of the people of Zambia. Do not think this Ministry is small? If there is no water in people’s houses, it all comes to this Ministry. 

“If people are not able to trade in safe places, it all boils down to this Ministry. I have no doubt that you are going to do the best in your new portfolio,” charged Pastor Kufor. 

In his acceptance speech, honourable Nkombo told the heads of departments at the Ministry not to be unsettled by the new change. 

“We believe that you are the engine of the Ministry. That means if you fail, we are all going to fail. You are my new family and I will ensure that I consult you so that we move together because we have one goal. Things are visibly broken but together we will resolve all issues that our operations.” 

“This Ministry was almost taken over by cadres. That is over, local government will work with all traders and other stakeholders to create a conducive environment to sustain all businesses,” he said. 

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