CCZ secretary general Father Emmanuel Chikoya says Cholera is a sanitation issue, not a demonic one.

And Minister in the Vice-President’s Office Sylvia Chalikosa has lamented that people are withdrawing their trucks after Kanyama residents burnt one during a riot last week.

Meanwhile, Local Government Minister Vincent Mwale says street vendors who cannot be accommodated in town must go and trade from markets within their compounds.

The trio was speaking at a Cholera Update briefing in Lusaka, Tuesday.

Religious Affairs Minister Reverend Godfridah Sumaili recently called for a one-week long prayer and fasting session to end Cholera saying people must ask God to show government officials its root cause.

But delivering a donation on behalf of CCZ, Fr Chikoya observed that cholera could not be blamed on evil spirits.

“We have recognised that Cholera is a sanitation issue and not just an issue of evil and demonic forces, we have to be clean,” Fr Chikoya said.

He said CCZ had donated a Mercedes Benz truck with fuel and K78,000 to boost the fight against cholera.

“Proactively, we also availed a Mercedes Benz truck with a driver and fuel to help in the collection of garbage. And at the same time, while we are praying, we have also proactively engaged our local and international partners and so far we have mobilised about K78,000 which in collaboration with the Ministry of Health, we will channel towards challenges relating to Cholera in the epicentre areas and we are still in the process of mobilising more resources, I was trying to avoid coming to this podium for now because we wanted to have a comprehensive package but for now, that is what we have done in terms of interventions. We will pray with you but we will also proactively do what we can to make a difference,” said Fr Chikoya.

“It is an issue of sustained responses. We are not going to wait until October again, it will be January to December, information dissemination. The church has a captive audience and we will utilise that platform to ensure that the right message reaches every Zambian.”

And Chalikosa complained that people had withdrawn their trucks after irate Kanyama residents gutted one during a riot.

“I would like to make a comment on the Kanyama riot which has resulted in the people withdrawing their trucks and vehicles; the tipper trucks that were very well coordinated and received by government. We had a total of about close to 80 trucks but because of the Kanyama riots, because of the number of small people who are not reasonable enough to engage government in dialogue so that we can sort out any misunderstanding, we have left a gap of about 71 trucks,” complained Chalikosa who asked owners to return them, promising that security would be provided.

“We would like to appeal to all those who offered us transport to assure them that we will attach security personnel to each one of the trucks that will be given to us. Therefore, we are giving an assurance of their vehicles being secure. We don’t anticipate another riot as long as we keep the people who are affected by this exercise engaged. We would like to appeal to them to bring back the trucks which they offered in the first place. Some of them did hire out their trucks to us but have not brought the vehicles so we are actually waiting for them to bring the vehicles so that we can make use of them.”

Meanwhile, Mwale asked vendors who could not be accommodated in town to trade from their compounds.

“On Sunday I announced that we would relocate street vendors to the gutted City Market. It has come to our attention that we seem to have a lot of people than the number of spaces available in City Market and this is because we have people who operated previously in the gutted City Market and from various streets of the CBD. It also appears that some individuals want to take advantage of this process and find themselves some space within City Market even though they have never traded from there before or they have never been on the streets before. So we have done extensive consultation with our colleagues from the street vendors association and also the local authorities. The council has a record of individuals who operated from City Market before it got gutted and also the street vendors association has a record of their membership and those that traded within the CBD. We have resolved this issue as follows, we are going to allow those that occupied City Market to take up their stands and we are also going to provide 2,000 trading spaces in the gutted market to street vendors. The rest of the street vendors will have to go back to the market in their compounds and trade from there for now,” said Mwale.

“We have provided space for them to trade in their compounds. Those that come from Chawama, those that come from Mandevu, those that come from Kabwata should liaise with the market managers in those places to try and provide special spaces for them until we make provision for them in the near future.”

Mwale also announced the reopening of Kamulanga Market, John Howard, Lilanda Market, Nyumba Yanga Market and COMESA Market.

His health counterpart Dr Chitalu Chilufya announced that only 28 new Cholera cases had been recorded in the last 24 hours and George Compound had been identified as a new epicentre.

“There is a new epicentre that we are focusing on, that is George Compound. It has recorded 16 cases and this is a new epicentre that we have now gone to analyse the reasons why and we have escalated interventions. As we speak this morning, our team is in George Compound because it has adequate water points from the project that was done with the support of the Japanese government in the 1990s. what we are looking at is why our people in George have resorted to use water from shallow wells and what is happening with the pit latrines. So we will give a comprehensive report on this new epicentre that has recorded 16 cases while the traditional areas have continued to report very low figures. For instance, Kanyama that has been the biggesrt challenge recorded only eight cases, Chipata Compoind only five and Bauleni reported zero and Chawama reported three and Matero reported six,” said Dr Chilufya adding that SI79 was still in force.

So far, the country has recorded 3,314 cases of Cholera with 75 deaths.