EASTERN Province permanent secretary Chanda Kasolo and Chipata mayor Sinoya Mwale have differed over the demolition of structures built on top of Eastern Water and Sewerage Company pipes.
And Kanjala ward councillor William Phiri says Kasolo is tarnishing the name of the President and the party. Recently, the Eastern Province Epidemic preparedness committee which is headed by Kasolo ordered that structures built on top of the high pressure water pipes be demolished.
This resulted in the demolition of 30 shops and about ten houses.
But Mwale, who was part of the committee, distanced himself from the demolition exercise saying the instruction from the President was that people should clean their surroundings but not to demolish poor peoples’ houses.
“As a mayor of Chipata under this pro-poor party which is leading this government, I will stick with the people. I will not support something which is wrong. I am not going to support a wrong thing but I will say, let’s not temper with peoples’ property. Let’s get where the challenge is. If the council issued those papers [to the victims of the demolition exercise], why should we demolish. Let’s find out why they obtained those papers,”
But during briefing on Tuesday, Kasolo said the mayor and some councillors like Phiri were annoyed with him because some of their structures had been demolished.
“You know being a technocrat sometimes confuses you a little bit with the politicians because where do I answer them politically? For me, I think that as a head of the administration, I have to defend what we are doing, I have to explain what we are doing. We have water lines, we have sewer lines we have electric lines. There is a legislation in the Zambian law which dictates that structures cannot be put within certain boundaries of those infrastructure,”
Kasolo urged the council to work with the provincial administration.
“You know, let us work together rather than just fighting like children. You know this is a very serious project but we must never lose sight of the fact that Chipata is a city, Chipata must live up to its reputation as a city,”
“However sometimes you have got to be cruel in order to be kind because I know for the fact that if we leave them the way they are, one day there will be a fatal accident when that pressure pipe explodes.”
Earlier, Phiri said it was foolish for Kasolo to order the demolition of houses and shops without engaging the local authority.
“The PS has become so big headed, he didn’t consult the council on those demolitions. As a party, the stance is that the PS acted out of being boastful and out of foolishness,” said Phiri.