LOCAL government minister Vincent Mwale has distanced the ruling party from reports that its leaders were inciting cadres to forcibly take over the running of bus stations.
On Tuesday, Mazabuka UPND member of parliament asked Speaker of the National Assembly Dr Patrick Matibini to rule on whether PF secretary general Davies Mwila was in order when he incited PF cadres to disregard laws made in the House, saying it would be difficult for councils to become financially viable if leaders continued inciting ruling party cadres to take over their running.
But Mwale told Parliament in a ministerial statement yesterday that such reports were false.
“Suggestions that officials in the ruling party are inciting cadres to take over the running of markets and bus stations in the country are untrue,” Mwale said.
He however said government would constitute boards to run bus stations.
“I am here to tell you that we have embarked on a programme to appoint management boards to manage those facilities and they will comprise of the people working from those same facilities such bus drivers and marketeers themselves. This is in line with clause 13(1) of the markets and Bus stations Acts,” Mwale said.
He said such interventions were envisaged to eliminate the undesirable influence of the various ‘political groupings’ in the management of the markets and bus stations.
Mwale said the intervention would also ensure adequate revenue collection from local authorities, National Markets and Bus Stations Development Fund which would assist in raising sufficient funds for the maintenance of terminals and trading places.
“My Ministry shall pilot this intervention in a few selected local authorities initially, especially those along the line of rail where undesirable political infiltrations in the management of markets and bus stations are more pronounced. But even so, where a particular market or bus station will be managed by a board, the overall responsibility and control will lie in the local authority having jurisdiction in the area in which it is situated,” said Mwale.