Lungu clears air

PRESIDENT Lungu talks to Service Chiefs when he arrived at the City Airport from Chipata yesterday. PICTURE: COLLINS PHIRI

PRESIDENT Lungu says markets and bus stations remain the preserve of the local authorities to manage.
He said the facilities were only supposed to be operated by the Ministry of Local Government through the councils countrywide.
His special assistant for press and public relations, Amos Chanda, told journalists at City Airport on arrival from Eastern Province yesterday that the President’s position was that only government institutions are mandated to run public facilities.
Mr Chanda said President Lungu was scheduled to have a meeting with Patriotic Front (PF) secretary general Davies Mwila over his alleged directive to the ruling party’s members to take over operations of markets and bus stations.
“The President makes it clear that all public utilities remain the preserve of the Ministry of Local Government.
“The President will be meeting with Mr Mwila to discuss a broad range of issues, including the statement he is alleged to have made while in Central Province,” he said.
Speaking in a separate interview, PF Lusaka Province youth chairperson Kennedy Kamba urged youths to leave markets and bus-stops to be run by local authorities.
Mr Kamba said any youth found engaging in any form of illegality would not be protected by the party leadership.
“This also applies when it comes to land acquisition. The right procedure must always be followed,” he said.
The private media has been quoting Mr Mwila as having directed PF cadres to wrest control of markets and bus stations from United Party for National Development (UPND) cadres when he addressed party members in Kabwe recently.
He is also accused of having told the PF to share land but he has denied the allegations.
And Mr Chanda says the President’s three-day trip to Eastern Province was successful because he met a broad range of interest groups to discuss ways to fast-track development projects.
He said President Lungu was happy that the army worms which invaded fields in some parts of the country had been contained.
“The President emphasised that he was in a hurry to see more development delivered and less politicking now that the political season has passed with last year’s election,” Mr Chanda said.
He said the President is happy that he interacted with people from different sectors to help him entrench development dialogue.

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