COPPERBELT Minister Bowman Lusambo has rubbished rumours that he has been creating parallel structures in the Patriotic Front (PF) in the region and that there is a stand-off between him and Ndola mayor Amon Chisenga.
Speaking when he met mayors and council chairpersons from across the Copperbelt Province at the provincial administration in Ndola yesterday, Mr.Lusambo said that he enjoyed a cordial relationship with the mayor.
“I just want to make this clarification that there is no stand-off between me and the mayor for Ndola. He is my elder brother and we are talking nicely and his is my friend. I regard him as my elder brother,” Mr.Lusambo said.
However, sources alleged that before the provincial minister left for China, he had a confrontation with the mayor over a letter which was delivered to the local authority whose content the mayor was not pleased with.
However, Mr.Lusambo emphasized on the need for respect between his office and that of mayors for the purpose of delivering to communities.
Mr.Lusambo said it was his wish that he had a united team in the province to execute Government business and programmes.
He pledged to work with the elected mayors and council chairpersons in the province.
The minister also appealed to the elected representatives to ensure that the decentralization programme was implemented as local government was central in service delivery.
He urged the mayors to intensify sensitization to communities on decentralization as it involved community participation.
He said the issues of councillors’ salaries was being addressed by relevant offices and appealed to civic leaders not to boycott their responsibilities.
Mr Lusambo warned that he would not tolerate in-fighting in the PF and urged elected members to respect party structures from grassroots up to the district.
“We are in a hurry to deliver campaign promises and we should make sure we put the interests of people first. Mayors and council chairpersons, you are at the core of development and people expect a lot from you. Copperblet is the richest province and let us take time to realize the potential,’’ he said
Mr.Lusambo said he acknowledged that some people were appointed into office by the President Lungu and had the privilege to speak with him but emphasized that performance and delivery of service should speak more than words.
Meanwhile, Mr Lusambo said he enjoyed healthy relationship with the Patriotic Front (PF) from grassroots to the provincial leadership.
“As a minister on the Copperbelt, I am ready to work with the party structures at district and provincial level because they are the foundation of the offices we occupy. I respect them and have no powers whatsoever to establish parallel structures. The only parallel structures I have is the Government wing which includes the permanent secretary, town clerks and mayors,” he said.