President Edgar Lungu says the recent local government election defeat to the opposition UPND in Northern Province is an embarrassment that should never happen again.

Speaking on arrival in Northern Province,Tuesday, President Lungu told party officials to stop finger-pointing each other over the loss, saying the opposition would take advantage and take over power.

“Nshaponse inshinta sana. Ichilipo fye chakumitotela ifya citike kuno twaliumfwa, Ifya citike ku Lupososhi tafya weme kwena nafileta insoni. Icho ningamyeba chakuti uwawa tabepeshiwa. Ifya chitika fikabwekeshapo libili pantu nga mwala sonta iminwe ati ni uyu, abalwani balaikala pakati balaumfwa bwino balatwingilila balatupoka namaka.So namilomba ukweba ati tube abaikatana. 2021 ili pa corner. A house divided cannot stand we should finish work in our ranks together and unite so that we finish the future as one. Fyali pita ifya citike tafyaweme so mutuleke ifwe abali kuntanshi tupoke ama reports ifya chitike finshi,bwangu bwangu tubombelepo,”President Lungu said. (I won’t waste much of your time. I just want to thank you. We heard what happened here in Lupososhi. It was very embarrassing. What happened here was not nice, it has brought embarrassment and humiliation. What I can tell you is that, the one who has fallen can not be accused. It should never happen again. And let’s stop pointing fingers at each other otherwise the opposition will take advantage, come in between us and might get power from us. I am asking you to be united, 2021 is around the corner. What happened here was very bad, but allow us your leaders to get the reports and find out what happened so that we can work on it.)

And speaking when he commissioned the Kasama civic centre, President Lungu said the newly commissioned civic centre in Kasama would improve office accommodation challenges which the council had been grappling with.

“The construction of this new civic centre being commissioned today attests to that. Government recognises that national development wholly depends on the availability of its infrastructural facilities. Infrastructure plays a vital role in the improvement of the living standard of our people. It also stirs economic growth. Not too long ago, I was here in Kasama to commission 110 housing units for the Zambia police service at Milima. This is the way it should be. Since its creation in 1958, Kasama municipal council has never had a civic centre. The local authority has over the years been squatting in other office spaces this affected its operations impacting negatively on effective service delivery to the public. I firmly believe that the commissioning of the new civic centre today will improve office accommodation challenges which the municipality has been grappling with since its creation,” President Lungu said

“This masterpiece was constructed at a total cost of K3.5 million. The civic centre will indeed raise the profile of the district and Kasama municipal council. Employees will also be motivated to work hard in the provision of necessary municipal services because of operating in a conducive environment. The employees of Kasama municipal council will be propelled to step up their efforts in service delivery. Further, this civic centre will be a pivotal contact between government and the general public. I would like to assure the employees at this council that the patriotic front government values your efforts in the provision of services to the people of Kasama,”

He directed council officers to introduce an open door policy which would encourage the general public to support local authorities.

“As this civic centre is officially opened, I urge the general public to make use of this facility cautiously in order for us to achieve decentralised governance and enhanced service delivery. In this regard, I am directing the council to introduce an open door policy which will encourage the general public to support local authority operations. You are also directed to put in place a maintenance plan to prevent the building from possible run down due to neglect. Please ensure that this building and the surrounding areas are kept clean all the time. This should be the responsibility of everyone, and this way we will be inculcating a culture of responsibility among our people towards protecting infrastructure,” said President Lungu

Meanwhile speaking at the same event, Local government minister Charles Banda said councils around the country were struggling with insufficient funds to enhance service delivery.

“From the recent visits to some local authorities, I have noted the following challenges being faced by a number of them; limited township boundaries, to this effect the ministry is engaging traditional leadership to consider steady boundaries. Inadequate infrastructure for service delivery and also insufficient funds to enhance service delivery among others,”said Banda.