Chief Government Spokesperson Dora Siliya says the Treasury has released K200 million to clear debt owed to small scale contractors.

And Siliya has encouraged political parties to practice intra-party democracy.

Speaking at a media briefing yesterday, Siliya announced that the K200 million which was released by the Ministry of Finance had been paid out to over a 190 small contractors, 24 sub-contractors and consultants.

“I did announce two weeks ago that government was going to pay Zambian contractors beginning with small contractors. I’m happy to report that K200 million which was released by the ministry of finance has been paid out to over a 190 small Zambian contractors and a further 24 sub-contractors, as well as consultants. It is important that Zambian contractors who do their work are actually paid so that we keep the economy commerce going and that the workers in the industry continue to look after their families. I know that some monies are still owed to some other small, medium and big contractors, government is really hoping that we can come to an end of this debt issue,” she said.

And Siliya encouraged political parties to practice intra-party democracy.

“Government has noticed with great concern the continued violence during elections. Elections should be a time when citizens can freely choose the leaders they prefer. As government we condemn in the highest order violence elections and we are calling upon all well meaning political parties to do the same. It is the reason why government continues to encourage all political parties to practice intra party democracy because without intra-party democracy we will continue to see violent traits,” she said.

Siliya further urged politicians to criticise government in a civil manner and offer solutions.

“I was fairly impressed with one independent member of parliament that I watched on Sunday interview last week for Kantanshi, honourable Anthony Mumba. He could discuss matters of governance, he could criticise government and offer solutions in a very civil manner. Even we in government, as we watched we were able to take what he was saying because he was proving that its possible for people to disagree in a civil manner and to offer solutions if they have. He set an example of how it should be that in a democracy people must be able to put ideas in the political space and even when they disagree they can do it in a civil manner so that even those being criticised can be able to take the criticism because its constructive,” she said.

Siliya said government had completed a temporal alternative crossing point on the washed away Kawambwa-Mbereshi road.

“On the washed away bridge on Kawambwa-Mbereshi road, they have completed the temporal alternative crossing point. However, we are hoping that the consultants would have finished very quickly making their recommendations to government on the permanent structure to be build. We are hoping that the permanent solution would take four months to complete hopefully beginning in June,” said Siliya.