Ministry dismisses Luwingu Secondary School reopening advert as fake

Dr Ernest Mutale. A recipient of the Australia Awards
Dr Ernest Mutale. A recipient of the Australia Awards

The Ministry of Community Development Mother and Child Health in Luwingu District has dismissed the advertisement  being aired on the Zambia National Broadcasting Corporation and Radio Mano regarding the reopening of Luwingu Secondary School which was closed due to non compliance of the public health act cap 295 of the laws of Zambia as fake.

In a letter addressed to the District Education Board Secretary, Ms Charity Lungu dated 08 May 2014, Dr. Ernest Mutale  argued that Ms Lungu and the secondary school headteacher have no powers whatsoever to revoke the court order issued and signed by Luwingu Magistrate Davy Simfukwe.

Dr. Mutale noted that the date for opening of the school will only be determined after his office and that of the magistrate to conduct full inspection on the school and if they are satisfied that is when the recommendation cited in the closing order have been worked on.

“May I remind your office that the school was closed under court order by the magistrate Davy Simfukwe due to none compliance of the public health Act Cap 295 and its subsidiary regulation of the law of the public of Zambia,” read in parts.

The letter and copied to Northern Province Permanent Secretary, Provincial Education Officer Provincial Medical Officer and also made available to Zambia News and Information Services (ZANIS) in Luwingu District.

In his letter, Dr. Mutae state that re-inspection of the institution to ascertain whether the recommendations cited in the closing order have been worked on, the office if it is satisfied with the works done and that the nuisance would not re-occur.

Dr. Mutale explained in his letter that after he is satisfied with the works, his office would apply to the court requesting him to revoke the closing order. The magistrate will then revoke the closing order and issue an opening order complying with law that closed it.

“The position of my office is that the school will remain closed until the above procedure is undertaken, therefore, the opening date of the school still remains unknown,” stated the letter.

Dr. Mutale further advised the DEBS to withdraw the running advert on ZNBC and radio mano because the action is liable for contempt of court.

Yesterday the office of the District Board Secretary issued the advert stating that the secondary school will be opened on 27th May and will be closed in the second week of August 2014

The advert for closure has been running on Zambia Nation Broadcasting Corporation and Radio Mano in Kasama and the same message has been placed on notice boards and selected trees for people to read in luwingu district contrary to the revocation order.

Meanwhile, Last month Northern Province permanent secretary Hlobota Nkunika maintained that luwingu secondary school will remain closed until sanitary conditions improves at the institution.

Mr Nkunika said when he inspected the dilapidated luwingu secondary that the school will only be allowed to open if it meets good sanitary conditions.

He said the ministry of health, mother and child health in luwingu district closed secondary school following the non compliance of several inspection reports and recommendations made by luwingu district community medical officer Dr Enerst Mutale.

In his report, Dr Mutale recommended that luwingu secondary be closed with immediate effect from 11th April 2014 until the findings on sanitary conditions in the school improved.

The District Commissioner also feared that if there were no improvements in the sanitary conditions a lot of lives would be lost at school. Early this year two pupils died at the school because of suspected poor sanitary conditions and lack of clean and safe drinking water a factor that prompted the ministry of health to carry out the full inspection at the school and later recommended for closure