By KANCHELE KANCHELE in Mufulira
Local Government Minister Stephen Kampyongo has called on Mufulira Municipal Council to protect land identified for projects in the district.
Speaking when he visited the Council this morning, Mr Kampyongo said land can be a source of conflict if not managed well.
He said local authorities in the country were not supporting service utility companies in asset ownership.
Mr Kampyongo said the council should ensure that land is protected where a projected are earmarked to be carried out.
“I am aware that local authorities’ are not supporting service utility companies. Make sure you leave enough space for projects for improved water circulation for our citizens. Such projects requires a lot of space, land must be available for projects or purposes. We don’t want our corporate partners to come saying they have funds but complain that they don’t have land.
“Projects in the district will be going on concurrently as Government wants to see all towns becoming like Lusaka. In Lusaka we had things like flood, bad roads and water entering houses in the rain season but now that is past. Things have changed and we want to see that Copperbelt changes too. Things happening in Lusaka should be happening on the Copperbelt as well,” he said.
Mr Kampyongo said the Central Government was working hard to ensure that council retirees were cleared of their arrears.
He said retirees would not all be paid at once but that it would depend on resources being generated.
Mufulira Mayor Thompson Ngulube said paying retirees was the biggest challenge the council was facing.
Mr Ngulube said it was a pity that the retirees could not get their pay after working for the council.
“Paying retirees is the biggest challenge we are facing, it’s a pity that we can’t pay them after they have worked. We need a market that needs to be finished. Marketeers are selling from the street which is not good. How can we remove street vendors from the streets if there is no place to take them to?” he said.
He updated the Minister that on a positive note his Council had finally managed to rehabilitate the abattoir after raising funds.
He said an abattoir could be a source of epidemic.
But Mr Ngulube complained that the local government service commission did not consider what the people wanted.
He said the commission made decisions without considering recommendations by the council.
“The commission does not consider what people want. It is transferring people and bringing in new people. When working we make a team. Bringing in new people will mean different people with different ideas,” he said.