Editor's Comment

Cage vandals

REPORTS that some unscrupulous people have vandalised a newly-built bridge in Kitwe’s Mulenga Township are heart breaking. Stern action must be taken against the perpetrators.
It is not only saddening but retrogressive that a bridge which links Mulenga to Ndeke Township and was built at a cost of over K600,000 has been vandalised before it could even be handed over to the community.
It is baffling that some members of the public can sink so low to shoot themselves in the foot by destroying infrastructure meant to ease their lives.
This bridge is what connects Mulenga to Ndeke Township, where clinics and schools are located.
The bridge is meant to enable Mulenga residents to access these important facilities, especially in the rainy season when the streams flood.
If or when the bridge falls apart, it is the same residents who will suffer because they will not be able to easily and quickly access health facilities and schools when the stream floods.
It is sad that after calling on Government to put up a bridge, the very beneficiaries are in the forefront damaging it before it could even start serving its purpose.
What is more infuriating is that this bridge was built at a huge cost of K600,000 and this is all money going down the drain. More of the money could go to waste if the damage is not stemmed.
This is money that could have gone “a long way” in sorting out other needs such as buying drugs in hospitals, putting furniture in schools and securing farm inputs for farmers. The list goes on.
As a country that is in a hurry to develop, Zambia cannot afford this kind of retrogressive behaviour.
It is a known fact that vandalism takes place across all sectors causing Government to lose huge sums of money.
An example is the on-going Bombay Drainage project in Lusaka. Before it is even completed some people are already vandalising, the facility by stealing some installations and they are also dumping garbage in it.
A lot of thought, concern and money went into the Bombay project for the benefit of all residents of the city, so why allow some selfish people to sabotage the project?
Each year, thousands of residents suffer the effects of flooding and the drainage is designed to ease this challenge which also triggers various waterborne diseases.
The ugly misdeeds of vandalism are evident too in or of schools, street lights, electricity cables, public ablutions blocks and bus shelters, among other properties.
This is a sad sign that some Zambians lack patriotism and ownership of public properties.
If Zambians do not take care of public infrastructure built at a huge cost, who will?
Zambians need a mindset change to start valuing public property bearing in mind that it is there to serve their interests.
Residents have an obligation to safeguard whatever infrastructure is in their areas.
Oddly, some people who speak highly of infrastructure in other countries are the ones that damage those in Zambia or do nothing about stopping the vandals.
Citizens must be the ones to watch and ensure that infrastructure meant to serve them and make the country look beautiful is protected from criminal-minded individuals who cannot see beyond their narrow and selfish interests.
For how long will Government continue rebuilding the same infrastructure because of vandalism?
The country has many needs which need resources. Government, therefore, needs to make headway in attending to the many needs on the waiting list.
We cannot continue moving in a circle by attending to the same problems at the expense of making progress.
Needless to say, it is hard earned tax-payers’ money that is being wasted.
We urge the law enforcement agencies to ensure that those found vandalising public property are made to face the wrath of the law.
Such are misfits in society who should be alienated from right-thinking and progressive members of society.
If the right tone is not set against vandals, Zambia’s development will be stagnant.
Vandalism must be rooted out, whatever it takes.

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