Local Government and Rural Development Minister Garry Nkombo says mobile money booth cartels were formed as a result of political party carders allocating booths at undesignated places.
The cartels were big as they were run by Council workers, politicians, political party carders and Mobile Network Providers.
The manner in which the mobile money telephone booths were installed was completely against the Urban and Planning Act, Mr Nkombo highlighted this when he made an appearance on HOT FMs Hot Seat Programme.
He noted that the carders would go to mobile money booths to collect rent amounting to K250 per booth in places with high traffic and K100 per booth in places with low traffic and every Friday at 3 O’clock political party carders would go over and above the K5,000 in revenue collection.
“These cartels formed charged K5,000 for stand allocation only,” he said
Mr Nkombo noted that if the money collected by the carders for booth allocation went to the Council, it could have been more affordable than the K5,000 that was being charged by carders.
Mr Nkombo said that one person would own up to 100 booths around the city and use the same trading license, conduct which is illegal and against the stipulated Law.
He added that political party carders planted booths on other people’s property and collected rent, conduct that was disjointed in the rule of Law.
“The money was going to a certain political party and I will live it to the public to guess which political party it is,” he said
Mr Nkombo alluded that when the Zambian people decided to transfer people and power through a vote and gave UPND an opportunity to govern, these are some of the problems that he was confronted with in his Ministry.
He further explained that the mobile money providers included as many people in financial transactions which saw the participation of all citizens, and the inclusion of all our citizens in the financial market is something that the UPND Government extremely desires to achieve.
Mr Nkombo said that despite creating a tangible benefit for those that found a livelihood in the operations of mobile money booths, the onset and setup of money booths became rampant not just in Lusaka but other parts of the country.
Mr Nkombo is concerned with how the Local Authority in the whole country is not recognised as they relegated their power and authority to them by the Constitution Act and ushered that power to political players who in one description can be called political carders who took over the responsibility of designation of mobile money booths.
“The Council’s power to operate had been overpowered by political party carders and it is not something to argue about,” he said