A video trending on Facebook posted on July 10, 2022, by Zed Diary claimed the local authority, Lusaka City Council, had removed mobile money booths on Cairo Road and other areas of the Central Business District (CBD) due to the recent African Union Summit. The video has triggered comments from members of the public who claim the Lusaka City Council removed the booths because of the AU Summit.
Our fact-checking process has established as misleading the claim that the removal of mobile money booths was because of the AU Mid Year Summit held in Lusaka.
To arrive at this conclusion, iVerify Zambia monitored an interview on Hot FM Zambia on July 12, 2022 in which Minister of Local Government and Rural Development Garry Nkombo said the removal of the booths was not because of the AU Summit, but part of an ongoing exercise to move them to a conducive area with running water and toilets. He explained that the exercise that would be extended to the rest of the country even after the AU Summit. He said communication with the mobile money booth owners started as early as September 21, 2021 contrary to claims that it was because of the AU summit. “They will be operating in a conducive area that has ablution blocks and running water,” Mr. Nkombo, stated. He also explained that in the past, the booths were not placed in areas designated by the council in accordance with the provisions of the Urban and Regional Planning Act.
In conclusion, while the Lusaka City Council has removed the money mobile booths from Cairo Road and other parts of the CBD, this was not because of the AU summit, and did not stop operators from trading.