22 stranded on drifted Sioma pontoon as Lungu fears to Commission Bridge

A rescue operation by Zambia army special forces and Zambia Air force is under way in Sioma in Western Province after the rickety pontoon ferry drifted on the Zambezi river in Sioma with 22 passengers and crew on board.
The Pontoon is said to have drifted three weeks ago but authorities tried to hide the information because the same pontoon had drifted a month ago and ZNBC covered the rescue operation.
A rescue attempt was carried out earlier but failed.
The bridge across the Zambezi River at Maziba was completed over two months ago but people have continued using the pontoon because outgoing President Edgar Lungu is still being awaited to commission the bridge.
President Lungu is supposed to commission the Sioma bridge, the much talked about and politicised Mongu Kalabo road, the Rivungu canal in Shangombo and the Mongu fuel storage depot but his handlers are concerned with his security in the region.
President Lungu has never visited Western Province since he was elected President making it the only province that the head of state has not visited.
In March last year while in Ethiopia attending the AU Summit, President Lungu told the media that he was going to visit Mongu immediately he returned to Zambia to resolve the standoff over the Barotseland issue. He has not visited the area to date and has remained mute on the issue.

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