Minister warns against violence

Education Minister, JOHN PHIRI
Education Minister, JOHN PHIRI

MINISTER of Local Government and Housing John Phiri has warned local authorities to stop violence and lawlessness in markets and other public facilities.
Dr Phiri said during the official opening of a national seminar of the Copperbelt Water Operators’ Partnership programme that something has gone amiss and should be corrected.
The minister said he will not allow hooliganism and called for restoration of order in markets and bus stations.
“Where are the structures in these local authorities? I will not allow any political hooliganism and I demand the restoration of order in these places,” he said.
Dr Phiri said that as minister, he has a lot of things to do and is not interested in solving petty problems that can be resolved without disturbing the proper functioning of local authorities.
He said time for politicking between party cadres is over because the election is over.
President Lungu recently urged PF cadres to desist from engaging into violent acts against United Party for National Development (UPND), saying the police should arrest whoever is involved into this.
On Sunday last week, UPND president Hakainde Hichilema complained that some of his supporters and sympathisers have been targeted by PF cadres especially after his party lost the election.
And Dr Phiri has implored water utility companies to prudently utilise the funds that have been given to them by donors to improve service delivery.
He said that the money comes from taxpayers’ pockets and should be used in a transparent manner, adding that pilfering should not be condoned.
Dr Phiri said that water and sanitation projects should be properly implemented because they help the vulnerable in society.
He said that every member of staff in his ministry and those working for the water utility companies should know that there is a reason why they are occupying their positions.
Dr Phiri commended the African Development Bank, European Union, German government and other donors that have been instrumental in funding water and sanitation projects.
Meanwhile, Local Government and Housing permanent secretary Stanford Msichili has urged water utility companies to be efficient and adopt best practices.
Mr Msichili said that he does not want to appear before parliament for queries that are raised in the Auditor General’s report because of lack of seriousness among some officers.