Court grants LCC right to run Cooperative Market

By Staff Reporter
The High Court has thrown out an interim injunction by some Lusaka residents, restraining lusaka city council from taking over the running of a Cooperative market.
The Lusaka Union of Marketeers Cooperative Society and Lilanda Marketeers Cooperative Society Limited had filed an injunction in the Lusaka High Court, seeking to restrain LCC from taking over Lilanda Cooperative Market.
But in a ruling dated February 2013, judge Mapani Kawimbe declined to grant petitioners the injunction.
LCC under minute number CDSS/64/08/17 resolved to take over the running of all cooperative markets in Lusaka for improved service delivery.
The first cooperative market to be taken over was Lilanda but residents challenged the move.
The two cooperatives applied for an order of interim injunction in the High Court citing LCC as first defendant and councillor Patrick Salubusa of Kapwepwe Ward 25 as second defendant.
The plaintiffs contended that LCC had no right of claim on its properties, business and profits and that the council neither had a right to impose the second defendant as market master.
The plaintiffs further claimed that if the defendants were not stopped, they would take over the market and impose themselves as the new leaders much to the irreparable damage of the plaintiffs’ shareholders, traders and the general members.
They stated that LCC’s actions was in breach of the Cooperatives Act and the protocol of the supervising government agency, namely the Ministry of Commerce, Trade and Industry.
In defence, LCC argued that the plaintiffs were aware of the Markets and Bus Stations Act No. 7 of 2007, which gave the local authority powers to establish markets and bus stops and control them.
Jude Kawimbe observed that the balance of convenience tilted in favour of the first LCC which was carrying out a statutory function and accordingly dismissed the application with costs.
And LCC expressed happiness at the ruling and advised other cooperatives to learn from it.
Acting public relations manager George Sichimba said the resolution by the council to take over running of cooperative markets was not meant to take away trading space from existing marketeers, but to enhance service delivery in accordance with the law.