All forms of business and trading will be stopped every last Saturday of the month to allow cleaning up of the country, says Local Government Minister Vincent Mwale.

And Mwale says the council will soon conduct on-the-spot inspections at people’s residences and company premises to check compliance levels with the new Statutory Instrument (SI) of keeping the country clean, green and healthy.

Mwale said the measure to stop all forms of business and trading every last Saturday of the month was aimed at enforcing the ‘clean-up Zambia’ campaign.

“What we are going to do now, which is different from the previous programme, is that every morning, last Saturday morning 08:00 hours to 11:00 hours, we are going to shut down the country, we are going to stop trading, we are going to stop all activities, the last Saturday of the month, everyone is going to get together for three hours to clean up the country. This will get, if there are 16 million of us, maybe those that are able to, I mean those that are above a certain age, we are targeting about 10 million Zambians for three hours all getting together,” Mwale said when he featured on the Hot 87.7 FM radio programme, Tuesday, hosted by veteran broadcaster, Frank Mutubila.

Mwale said the country did not need any outsider to come and help with the cleaning of the city as it was the duty of locals.

“We launched ‘keep Zambia clean’ two, three times before, but it proved that the ones that we launched in the past actually never yielded any good results; we never achieved so much with that. The rationale is just to make sure that we have clean cities, clean towns, clean villages, localities, communities, and that we embrace the green culture, plant trees, we do land-scarping and make sure that our country looks beautiful. And we do not need anybody to come from another world to come and help us do this. We, ourselves as Zambians, are going to manage this. We are going to do it,” Mwale vowed.

“So, one of the reasons why the previous ‘keep Zambia clean’ campaign didn’t yield any results was that we had no platform on which to build this make Zambia clean campaign, a platform that could deal comprehensively [with] the solid waste management system.”

He disclosed that the council would soon conduct some on-the-spot inspections in homes and companies to check if a clean surrounding environment was kept.

“And in fact this week with the council, we want to do some on-the-spot check on some residences and surroundings for some companies that are operating in front of them; they have unkempt grass, they have got heaps of garbage and they can’t take care of the land-scarping and keep their surroundings green. We want to go and remind them that the SI that I issued compels them to do something about their surroundings. I mean this is an obligation that we all get from the Constitution that we have to be responsible citizens, and being responsible means that we do that which is expected of us to do. So, we want to make sure that this SI is followed to the letter. Every citizen actually has to take part in this,” Mwale said.

And Mwale called on all business entities to help government in funding the recently re-launched ‘Keep Zambia Clean, Green, and Healthy Campaign.’

“I agree that we need to reach out to all banks and all business entities to help us ensure that we fund the whole campaign. And we don’t need so much money to fund this whole campaign, and I have said that we want this to be the cheapest thing, we must use the tools available to ourselves in our homes. We don’t need overalls; we don’t need government to buy shovels and things like that. I think we have been able to help ourselves in our communities with the simple tools that we have for us to make this campaign sustainable. If we begin to use sophisticated tools to do this, that will be an excuse to say: ‘I haven’t got tools to use’ and all that,” said Mwale.