Tuesday, June 26, 2007
By Masuzyo Chakwe and Fridah Zinyama
Tuesday June 26, 2007 [18:11]
PRESIDENT Mwanawasa has expressed disappointment over the failure by some MMD district leaders to receive him in Bauleni Compound. And President Mwanawasa has told the Ministry of Energy and Water Development and Zesco to speed up the electrification of all compounds in order to save trees and the environment.
During the launch of the cleaning of homes under the Make Zambia Clean and Healthy campaign in Bauleni Compound, President Mwanawasa said he went there as Republican President and not necessarily as MMD president .
“I am the President of Zambia but there is also a party of people and I expected all leaders to receive me, the district chairman and others but I found these people not here. I want to say publicly that I am very disappointed, no wonder we do so badly in the communities because leaders are not here to see you. As long ago as December, I have been asking, I want to go to the place where people live so that I can see what lives people lead so that I can talk to them, you give me excuses ati ba President simungabwele, we are not ready and you are doing nothing. Should it take a programme to bring me here?” he asked.
He directed the provincial minister Charles Shawa to coordinate with the (MMD) national secretary and arrange for him to visit some townships in Lusaka.
President Mwanawasa said he did not want to be going to Mulungushi all the time.
“I want to be going where 60 percent of the people live. As the saying goes Charity begins at home, and as such cleanliness must begin from home. I chose Bauleni because it is in the heart of Lusaka Central Constituency and State House is there. I am therefore launching the cleaning of homes beginning from my home,” he said.
He said he also wanted to visit homes and see the environment of well-dressed men and women he saw in Lusaka.
“I wanted to see if their environment is as clean as they themselves appear but it seems, minister (local government) what you told me, things are worse than what I have seen. It was important for me to see the homes and surroundings from which our future generations, the youth and the children will begin their careers,” he said.
President Mwanawasa appealed to mothers to clean homes and surroundings and teach children and husbands the importance of personal hygiene. He said it must also be understood that the task of cleaning homes and surroundings was not for women alone.
“Men should play a part if this campaign is to succeed as it says it takes two to tangle. I want to appeal to all residents to maintain clean surroundings and dump rubbish only in designated places which the council has provided. This will ensure that our food will be free of disease carrying germs. We also need clean and safe water for drinking, cooking, washing and maintenance of personal hygiene,” he said.
President Mwanawasa said poverty was made worse if a person was dirty.
“Poverty can make you proud if you are clean. You will be given a clean house, bed, furniture but if you are not clean, you are dirty, ninshi chayafya (then it’s difficult),” he said.
He said he had been informed that the Lusaka City Council had passed by-laws for solid waste management.
“These laws are meant for the common good of the community. Let us therefore obey them so that we protect the environment against pollution. The by-laws prohibit the open burning or burying of refuse as this leads to air and water pollution. I therefore urge you to use the refuse collection system that ensures that the refuse is taken away for safe disposal at a sanitary landfill facility,” he said.
President Mwanawasa congratulated the Mayor of Lusaka for being elected and urged him to adopt the campaign as a top priority agenda.
He urged the residents not to take charcoal braziers to bed as they risked the danger of suffocation from carbon monoxide.
“In this same vein, let me urge the Ministry of Energy and Water Development and Zesco to speed up the electrification of all compounds in order to save the trees and the environment. The challenge to scientists is to develop cheaper alternative energy sources in order to protect the environment which is fast growing into a desert,” he said.
President Mwanawasa paid tribute to the women that everyday clean the highways while people continued to throw rubbish on the road.
President Mwanawasa urged local government minister Sylvia Masebo to find a way to make the councils regularly inspect and tour compounds including the high cost areas to ensure that they were clean and maintained trees and shrubs.
He also directed that housecleaning competitions should be brought back in all districts where mayors and council chairpersons award the cleanest homes and best kept surroundings as a way of encouraging cleanliness. President Mwanawasa awarded the cleanest house, shop and school in Bauleni Compound with money./SM