Government Friday handed over the 100 hearses to the local authorities in the country.
Acting Local Government and Housing Minister, Bradford Machila handed over the hearses to the local authorities at a ceremony in Lusaka.
Mr. Machila said the councils would be charging a minimal fee of not more than K300, 000 for the usage of the hearses which would go towards maintenance of the vehicles.
“There will be a cost in administering of these vehicles as such it is prudent to attach a minimal fee to the usage of these hearses. I therefore direct that the councils not to charge more than K300, 000 per service” he said.
Mr. Machila also said the hearses will remain the property of the state and urged the councils to take good care of them.
He has warned that any misuse of the hearses would result in government repossessing the hearses and giving to deserving councils.
Mr. Machila said government had insured all the 100 hearses with the Zambia State Insurance Coporation (ZSIC) at a total cost of K744, 600 million.
And speaking on behalf of the other councils, Kitwe Town Clerk Ali Simwinga said the hearses would now help people in the country bury their loved ones in a dignified manner.
He has however said the minimal fee the council would be charging for people to access the hearses would help to buy fuel and maintain the vehicles.
Mr. Simwinga said the fee should not be understood as a way to disadvantage the people but that it would help the vehicles be in good condition all the time.
“People should view the minimal charge as something the council is doing to disadvantage them but this will help us the councils to service the vehicles, maintenance and also to buy fuel,” he said.
Lusaka, Livingstone, Kitwe and Ndola City Councils have been given four hearses each while, Municipal Councils have received two hearses each and all District Councils have received one hearse each.