Ministry of Local Government Permanent Secretary Amos Malupenga says all 42-million-dollar fire tenders were insured with the Zambia States Insurance Company (ZSIC), but could not disclose the insurance cover for each of them.

And the Alliance for Community Action has challenged the Local Government Ministry to explain the nature of the accident in which one of the 42 fire tenders was involved, and to disclose if the full insurance cover for all the 42 units was paid to ZISC.

Malupenga told News Diggers! in an interview today that the fire tenders were all insured but could not avail the price by press time.

“All the fire trucks are insured with ZSIC. The preliminary report we have received so that is that there was a call of an emergency that there was a truck that was on fire between Chililabombwe and Chingola. So they rushed to that scene and they managed to successfully put out the fire on that vehicle which was burning. And as they were leaving that scene to go back to the station, they received another call that there was another vehicle on fire somewhere around Kasumbalesa boarder and so they diverted now from there rushing to Kasumbalesa to go and attend to another emergency,” Malupenga said.

Malupenga said out of the five officers who were on board, two were unhurt while three sustained minor injuries.

“So it was in that process when they were driving to Kasumbalesa but you know when there is an emergence they usually drive on high speed and there was a curve. So I think the driver failed to negotiate that curve and thats how they overturned. They were five officers on the truck, two were okay and three had some minor injuries and were rushed to the hospital. I think the extent of the damage is still being investigated, I cannot tell as at now what extend. Maybe at a later stage I can tell the extent of the damage to the vehicle. Insurance usually it is done over a period of one year and you renew after every year,” said Malupenga.

Asked at what cost each fire tender was insured for, Malupenga said he needed to check his records and get back to this reporter but he did not do so by press time.

And ACA information and advocacy officer Jimmy Maliseni challenged the ministry to disclose at what cost the fire tenders were insured at in a letter today.
“We would like to seek your clarification on the following aspects of the trucks which were not fully made available to us as well as aspects of the accident as follows: 1. Was the premium to ZISC fully paid, what was the premium and for what amount was each unit covered? 2. Was the driver of the fire tender involved in the accident one of the trained firemen/women? 3. Considering that we do not have a local branch of the fire tender component manufacturer, Rosenbauer (we note that Zambia has a Scania dealership) was the insurance cover for local or international replacement/fixing?” asked Maliseni.

“The information is important to us because we have noted a lot of speculation in the public domain, especially social media on the perceived loss and possible waste of this public resource. However, as we pledged in our communication with you, it is our policy to seek official answers to all our questions before we make public statements. We therefore look forward to your usual forthrightness with the information we request. We hope to hear from you soon.”