Local Government Minister Vincent Mwale says Seventh Day Adventists and those holding funerals are an exception to the recently declared ‘national day of cleaning’ to be held every last Saturday of the month.

On Tuesday, Mwale declared that there would be no trading or any other activities on every last Saturday of a month to facilitate countrywide cleanings from 08:00 hours to 10:00 hours.

“What we are going to do now which is different from the previous program 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.

But in an interview with News Diggers! Mwale clarified that no form of activities including social gatherings would be allowed on that day unless with permission from authorities.

“When I said business, I just don’t mean trading, I mean all sorts of activities, social activities, what, everything. If people are to do some activities because they are compelled to, they will need the permission of authority. [That is] if they have exceptional things that are for some reason are unavoidable and that they must carry them out. Of course things like funerals happen, you can’t stop people from mourning and burying but all social gatherings and trading and things like that must all be postponed. It is only three hours, it is only one day in a month, it is only 12 times in a year,” Mwale explained.

He said government would then engage the SDA church to decide on an alternative cleaning day for them.

“The church ones, SDA [Seventh Day Adventists] are an exception. But we are engaging SDA to make sure that they can then take responsibility for the participation of their members on a day that is free for example a Sunday. Yeah, that is exceptional we can’t stop people from worshipping. That is understood. Funerals are understood, SDAs are understood and a few exceptional but generally we want everybody to participate and its only three hours in a day, from 08:00 hours to 11:00 hours,” said Mwale.

“It will start 26th this month. So we are starting the publicity to let people know.”