Copperbelt Minister Bowman Lusambo has warned water utility companies, mayors and town clerks in the province against having a laissez-faire attitude towards work.

And Lusambo has boasted that Copperbelt police are the most professional in the entire world.

Meanwhile, Lusambo has also warned mining companies to stop outsourcing or “action” will be taken on them.

At a press briefing on the Copperbelt, Tuesday, Lusambo warned that if he found any dirty town, he would give the mayor responsible a wheelbarrow and shovel to immediately start cleaning.

“Allow me to sound a warning to water utilities operating on the Copperbelt province to improve their service delivery. My office has continued receiving complaints from customers over issues that could easily be resolved by these water utilities without the involvement of the central government. Issues of leakages and blocked sewer pipes won’t be entertained in 2018. We expect the managements of these companies to put their acts together and respond swiftly to these complaints in order to ensure quality service. Some of the complaints flooding my office point to laziness and lawlessness. And this laissez-faire attitude among some of the companies, we shall not tolerate in 2018,” he said.

“The same warning goes to the city fathers in the province. The mayors and their town clerks. My office won’t take kindly to incompetence by the local authorities in the province. I will from now on be firm on all lazy mayors and town clerks. We have to ensure that cleanliness is promoted in our respective districts. I will be embarking on unannounced tours of these districts and if I find that a certain town is dirty, I will give a shovel and wheelbarrow to that mayor and town clerk of that dirty city to start cleaning up immediately.”

He cautioned civil servants to remain professional or risk being flashed out of the province if they started politicking.

“In 2018, my office is expecting a professional civil service. The only thing I would request from all civil servants is to remain professional and loyal to the government of the day. Political civil servants will be flashed out of the province. Let us not spend time politicking at the expense of development,” Lusambo said.

And when asked about police who beat up CBU students during a riot recently, Lusambo said he had well disciplined police officers in the province who couldn’t be compared to any other police officers in the world.

“I have well disciplined police here on the Copperbelt province and they work according to government’s policy of policing the properties and protecting the lives of our people. Our police can’t be compared with any other police in the world. They work according to our satisfaction. I have not seen police misbehaving here on Copperbelt province,” Lusambo said.

“So when they misbehave, come and tell me that here are the police who are misbehaving then we are going to deal with them accordingly. I was with the minister [of higher education] yesterday and we discussed CBU, UNZA and other higher learning institutions. But what we are not going to allow again is people with hidden agendas to take them at CBU and at UNZA. We have reports of students who are been paid to bring confusion both at CBU and UNZA but we will not allow that.”

Meanwhile, Lusambo said action would be taken against some mining companies that were outsourcing.

“With the engagement of the Ministry of Mines and Mineral Development and the Ministry of Commerce Trade and Industry, the Copperbelt province administration will launch an investment audit for all mining companies in the Copperbelt province to ascertain the level of investment that foreign investors have made in their respective mines. We have realized that some of these so called investors have not made any substantial investment in their operation but are merely clearing up the slugs and dumps that was left behind by ZCCM. Some of these investors have not brought in new equipment, new technology and they have been retrenching our people,” said Lusambo.

“We want to know how much foreign direct investment has been pumped in and those mining companies who have not honoured their investment projects. We will recommend to the Ministry of Mines that action be taken against them. We are aware that Zambia still has some of the best copper grades in the world and it is time we attach serious investors especially here on the Copperbelt province. We will also be taking action against some mining companies that are not awarding supply contracts to our local businessmen. Some mining companies resort on having companies set up in foreign land like South Africa. We are going to make sure that the local people benefit from their natural resources.”