PF indaba in health scare

MULUNGUSHI Rock of Authority is a health hazard which cannot accommodate the 5,000 delegates planned for the Patriotic Front (PF) national convention.

Information from Kabwe has revealed that Mulungushi University with a population of 2,000 was closed down and has not been opened because there is no water.

The conference slated for Friday this week was planned way back without the organisers considering the state of the Mulungushi Rock of Authority located at Mulungushi University

Kabwe Municipal Council public relations manager Annie Mumba said it was a health hazard to allow a huge gathering in an environment that did not have adequate water and sanitation facilities.

Ms. Mumba said she was not aware of any alternative arrangement put in by the University to accommodate over 5,000 delegates when they had decided to close the institution to accommodate less than 2,000 students.

“The fact that Mulungushi University prematurely closed and remains closed due to water problems means that a permanent solution has not yet been found. In line with the Public Health Act, any gathering that is going to attract such a huge number of delegates must have facilities and I can only hope that an alternative has been put in place,” she said.

Ms. Mumba however did not state if there would be any sanctions imposed on the institution for allowing a gathering without facilities because the University had not yet informed the council of the situation.

Mulungushi University Corporate Affairs Officer James Pondo confirmed that the University which was scheduled to reopen yesterday but postponed the date due to the continued water shortage.  He, however, admitted that the PF had hired the Mulungushi Rock of Authority and paid for the venue which was available for any public use.

Mr. Pondo did not state how much the ruling party had paid for the venue.

He said as an alternative, the conference would be facilitated by water bowsers to be supplied by Lukanga Water and Sewerage Company (LgWSC) in the university’s water sources expansion project. But LgWSC Managing Director Wencyslouv Makondo said his company was not aware of the request to supply water bowsers to accommodate the PF convention.

He said the only request his company had received was to increase water supply to the institution to meet the students’ demand.

Mr. Makondo said in an interview that his company only had one 7,000 litre capacity water bowser and it would be economically unsustainable to ferry water over a distance of about 20 kilometres.

He stated that his company was approached by the University management to use water bowsers to try and beef up the water supply at the institution to meet the student’s demand and there after the company tried to engage other stakeholders like Nkana Water and Sewerage Company and the Lusaka Water and Sewerage Company who were both unable to help as they equally only had one bowser each.

Meanwhile, Central province commissioner of Police Standwel Lungu has revealed that PF have notified the police on the holding of the convention on 29th November.

Mr. Lungu appealed to the delegates to conduct themselves in a peaceful manner and avoid breaking the law.

He said police would be at hand and had enough manpower to ensure that peace prevailed during the general conference.