Chipata town to be elevated to city

chipataThe Chipata Municipal Council has made headway in its efforts for Chipata district to attain city status.

Town Clerk, Golden Banda, told ZANIS that the local authority has already engaged the Ministry of Local Government and Housing to declare Chipata a City.

Mr Banda said that late Local Government and Housing Minister, Ben Tetamashimba, had promised that Chipata would soon be given city status.

The Town Clerk said in preparation for city status, the council, through Paramount Chief Mpezeni of the Ngoni people of Eastern Province, acquired 10 hectares of land along the town boundary for township expansion.

Mr Banda said that the local authority is now in the process of re-planning Chipata town with the aim of making it bigger.

He said  the local authority has also managed to convince the Reformed Church in Zambia (RCZ) to build a Cathedral along Umodzi Highway at the hill near Chipata Police Camp.

Meanwhile Chipata district will have second traffic lights along Umodzi highway at the junction of Church Road, which leads to the second class trading area.

Mr Banda who revealed this to ZANIS in an interview, said that the council was by yesterday, expecting to receive K200 million from the Ministry of Local Government and Housing, which it intends to use in putting up street and traffic lights.

He also revealed that the council has managed to convince proprietor of PROTEA Hotel  and Spar Group of companies, Mark O’Donnell, to build a hotel in Chipata.

He said that plans have already been approved for the hotel to be situated along Airport road in the industrial area.

And, Mr Banda has revealed that the local authority lost more than K500 million in revenue collection from various receipt books that have gone missing.

The Town Clerk stated that  about four workers from the finance department have been dismissed from employment after being found with a case to answer on the missing receipt books and defrauding the local authority.

Mr Banda said the council decided to fire the four workers from the finance department because they failed to exculpate themselves.

He said that only three workers have been returned although they have been demoted from their positions.

Mr Banda pointed out that among those fired are temporary workers who were engaged on contract bases while the fate of permanent workers involved in the same scum will be known after the full council meeting.

“Some employees in the accounts department defrauded the local authority millions of Kwacha some two months ago” he added.

Mr Banda said market General Receipt books, bus station receipt books, stall license books, and trading retail licenses books are among those which to date have not been surrendered to the local authority by officers involved in the scum.

He said that if all the receipt books were surrendered to the local authority, Chipata Municipal Council would have collected more than K500 million.

Mr Banda said that the council has since invalidated all the receipt books.

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