New Open Market for Chotto

Katima Mulilo’s biggest informal settlement, Chotto, has just received a new lease of life with the inauguration of a multi-million dollar open market. The practice of hawking in the streets is now something of the past following the initiative of one of Katima Mulilo’s prominent businessmen, Hisham Ahmed, who is responsible for building the open market.

During the official opening of the market, Zambezi Regional Governor Lawrence Sampofu commended the businessman and reiterated government’s call for private and public partnerships. “Chotto residents have suffered enough. We have pushed them a lot on the streets. Today they have a place where to sell their goods. We want to thank Mr Hisham for thinking about our people. Government alone cannot manage to satisfy the needs of residents. We thank businesses that are taking people’s needs to heart,” said Sampofu. Sampofu bemoaned the lack of social responsibility among local business people urging others to follow suit. “Instead of draining the pockets of the people, plough back into the community so that together we develop this region. It is initiatives of this nature that we are looking for in this region. These initiatives can empower other people to stand up on their feet and start up small businesses to earn a living,” said the governor.

Sampofu, who appealed for cleanliness, further commended women whom he believes are striving hard to earn a living compared to their male counterparts.

“I want to urge all users of the market to keep it clean at all times to avoid the outbreak of diseases. Co-operate with the owner. I thank the women of this region. You are trying your level best to put bread on the table, while men keep abusing you. I urge our men to support and love their women. Let’s stop the violence,” urged Sampofu to loud ululation and applause. According to Ahmed, the owner of the newly built open market, all stalls at the market have been occupied with a long waiting list of people who have also indicated interest in securing stands.

According to him, residents of Katima Mulilo are business oriented and therefore building a market was the perfect way for him to plough back into the community. “I have lived in Katima for the past 23 years. My desire is to empower and plough back into the community. The market has 260 stalls and they are all occupied.

Source : New Era