Minister of Local Government Unity and Culture, Richard Chimwendo Banda has called on local councils in the country to put revenue generated from markets to good use by fixing basic amenities so that market premises should be hygienically improved.
Banda made the remarks on Friday during a clean-up exercise at Kamuzu Road in Salima. He emphasized that councils are duty-bound to ensure that the wellbeing of business people is safeguarded by providing them with a conducive environment that also attracts customers.
“We are aware that councils have so many obligations to fulfill, but giving back to business people who daily pay taxes is the rightful thing to do because without collecting revenue, councils cannot function, ” he said.
He cited an example that most markets across the country lack toilets, which forces business people to leave their businesses and walk long distances to find relief.
The minister condemned such tendency by some local and called upon them to ensure that such anomalies are rectified.
Chimwendo Banda also advised local councils in the country not to relax in conducting the clean-up campaign, saying they have to lead by example for citizens to follow and help promote hygiene in the country.
“The clean-up campaign should be an ongoing exercise and councils should not take breaks in organising these exercises because every second Friday of the month is supposed to take place,” he said.
On this point, he disclosed that the ministry has introduced the best council campaign where the local councils that have clean markets and other public utilities will be awarded with development projects.
He said motivating councils to be competing for a prize of being the cleanest will upgrade the cleanup campaign from being a normal event to an interesting activity.
Meanwhile, Member of Parliament for Salima Central, Gerald Kapiseni Phiri has requested for the ministry to assist Salima District Council with a vehicle to be used for waste collection.
He said mobility is a challenge at Salima District Council, therefore, having a truck for garbage collection will improve service delivery.
“We are trying with the little that we have but we know we can do better by frequently collecting garbage in markets with the right vehicle,” he said.
Kapiseni Phiri said his constituency has the busiest trading places in Salima such as Kamuzu Road. He said it is his wish to see the area developed with good structures.
The cleanup campaign was launched in 2020 by State President Lazarus McCarthy Chakwera with the aim of promoting cleanliness and safe environments.