A COMBINED team comprising the Lusaka City Council (LCC) police and the Zambia Police Service swung into action on Thursday at midnight and demolished 46 illegal shops at New Soweto Market.
The shops were demolished as their owners had no planning permission from the LCC and the structures were built on the New Soweto boundary wall and on private property.
The affected shop owners stormed the Lusaka Civic Centre yesterday morning to air out their grievance and were addressed by Deputy Mayor Potipher Tembo.
Mr Tembo said his administration did not want to encourage illegality in the city and thus requested the traders to avail him with the necessary documentation to prove that the LCC permitted them to build shops at New Soweto Market.
Then failure by the complainants to produce the documents he had requested from them prompted Mr Tembo to urge them to meet him on Monday with valid documentation to prove that they had permission from the local authority to erect their shops at New Soweto market.
"Show me your papers. If you don't have papers, don't even come here because we don't encourage illegalities. The Council is the one that gives the necessary documentation.
"We don't want to talk about this issue without papers because you may waste your time here. So through the chairman on Monday bring the papers so that we see the validity of those papers. If they are not valid then it's your own fault because you have the right to come to the council and make formal applications," he said.
LCC assistant public relations manager Brenda Katongola in an interview urged members of the public to follow laid down procedures.
"Let this (demolition) be a warning to other people who would want to do illegal things that the council is on the ground," she said.