KANYAMA Member of Parliament Elizabeth Phiri has expressed ignorance on the on- going construction of ablution blocks in the Southern wing of the dilapidated COMESA Market which is “illegally being erected on the road reserve.
Meanwhile, United Party for National Development (UPND) Lusaka Central Aspiring Candidate Mulambo Haimbe has questioned the absence of Mayor Miles Sampa in the face of untidiness in the capital city despite winning the mayoral by-elections on pretext that he would make
“Lusaka a clean place to live in”.
Speculation has mounted that the tender to construct the said toilets at COMESA Market was not transparently awarded, considering that the said premises are in the road reserve sandwiched close to makeshift restaurants.
In addition to that, the toilets are being built next to a pool of stagnant water and uncollected garbage heap.
When reached for a comment, Mrs. Phiri expressed ignorance over the toilets under construction, wondering who was awarded the tender for the said constructions.
She further wondered whether the same toilets are on title deeds.
“Who is constructing the toilets there? Kindly go back there and ask for the letter issued for that contract and find out whose title they are using. When You get this information, come back to me so that I can take appropriate action…otherwise, thanks for the information,” Mrs Phiri politely said.
Asked whether lawlessness taking place in markets in Lusaka and other parts of the country is not frustrating President Edgar Chagwa Lungu’s efforts of ‘Keeping Lusaka Clean and Green Campaign’ , the Kanyama Law-Maker responded in affirmative.
“Yes, lawlessness and dirtiness is frustrating President Lungu’s efforts of Keeping Zambia Clean and Green ,” she lamented.
When reached for a comment to establish whether the construction of toilets had blessings from the Lusaka City Council and what criteria was used to award the tender, LCC Spokesperson George Sichilima vehemently refused to speak to the Journalist, saying he was very tired after a long tiresome day, running various unnamed projects.
“Talking about news this time? I am very tired as I have been running around doing a lot of projects,” he said.
When the Journalist asked what time would be convenient for an interview, Mr Sichilima angrily hang-up the call.
This is not the first time Mr Sichilima has dodged questions on the state of the troubled COMESA Market, where lawlessness, dirtiness and caderism have reigned.
In 2018, a named media house pressed for an interview with the LCC Spokesperson at the height of Patriotic Front(PF) cadres illegally constructing makeshift shops at COMESA Market, he demanded that pictorial evidence be sent to him.
When the reporter sent him pictures of Makeshift shops via WhatsApp technology, Mr Sichilima could not give any comment.
Meanwhile, United Party for National Development(UPND) president Hakainde Hichilema spoke passionately about the need for Zambians to be vigilante over the possible Cholera outbreak.
Posted Mr Hichilema on his official Facebook page: “…Ironically, the rains though absolutely essential, can be a significant health and economic threat if not well managed. Last year in Lusaka alone, we experienced 98 cholera related deaths which could have been prevented had we taken preventive action early enough.
We therefore call upon residents in Lusaka and all citizens around the country to follow the advice of our health authorities by ensuring that we adhere to strict hygiene practices. We also call upon the Lusaka City Council to heighten their public awareness campaigns against all waterborne diseases especially cholera. Let’s work together to prevent an outbreak this season.”
And Counsel Haimbe said it is unfortunate that the Patriotic Front(PF) Government used the launch of Keep Zambia Clean and Green for political gimmick.
He said barely a couple of years after the Keep Zambia Clean and Green Campaign was launched, the country is extremely dirty.
“Not too long ago, it was a big gimmick that we had the Keep Zambia Clean Campaign…every month end, we were supposed to be cleaning. clearly, this was a campaign gimmick…where is that? Why is it not happening? We are not seeing these so called leaders dealing with Keep Zambia Clean and Green Campaign when it matters most. We are on the blink of the Cholera epidemic, there are no toilets in the city, up to now, when these are situations that could have been dealt with a long time ago. People are using open areas for all sorts of personal business such defecating and urinating…is that what we want in the Capital City of Lusaka? This has to be addressed,” he said.
Ironically, President Lungu has stopped his monthly assembling of Ministers and other Government officials to carryout cleanings.
Counsel Haimbe wondered why the Lusaka City Council has failed to deal with drainage problems in the CBD.
“I have noted with concerns what is happening in Lusaka at the moment. Just yesterday, (Monday 6th January 2020) we saw very disturbing images…We had a single rainfall that flooded the major bus stations. We all know of the situation where drainage water is not running properly and is not being disposed of properly and this is a bleeding ground for diseases.
We all know that Cholera is a perennial problem in the City of Lusaka so quite clearly, the authorities that are supposed to be dealing with these matters are not doing so, yet we have had situations where people are given contracts during dry seasons on the pretext that they will solve drainage problems in the country. What is actually happening? We must ask ourselves as citizens where are these resources going? Why are they failing to deal with these problems when resources have been allocated?,” he asked
Mr Haimbe further wondered why the Lusaka City Mayor Miles Sampa has tolerated dirtiness in the capital city when he was elected on the pretext that he will keep Lusaka clean.
“Where is the Lusaka City Council? where is the Mayor who was elected on the pretext of keeping this city clean? Where is Bowman Lusambo who claims to be a minister of Lusaka? They are busy demolishing structures instead of sorting out the problems that we have. Why is that so? We are looking at the epidemic and I am talking about the CBD. Before we go to the townships, where we have similar refuse problems, let us put people who are in office to account. They should respond to the people of Zambia; they should respond to the people of Lusaka why there is so much dirtiness when this should not be so. We demand for answers,” he concluded.