MINISTER of Works and Supply Honourable Felix Mutati says civil servants who want to have fun and enjoy the rich tourism sites of Livingstone and other places should stop using public resources and use their own.
And Earlier, Controller of the Government Transport Control Unit (GTCU) Ernest Kunda warned that the exercise that started in Lusaka and now in Livingstone is an on-going practice that will cover the entire country.
He said time has come for the cleansing of the civil service from abuse of public resources which include Government vehicles adding control has to take place now.
“What we are seeing here, 29 vehicles have been impounded in Livingstone, and some people are coming here to indulge in tourism. We are not against people having fun and indulging in tourism, if you are going to have that do it with your own resources. Don’t come and have fun here using people’s resource,” he said.
Mr Mutati said government is not stopping anyone from visiting the Victoria Falls but “leave the Government vehicle parked and for the use it was meant” adding that those that are going to have fun at Government expense are going to be dealt squarely.
He said when people complain that Government is not working it is all because of a small clique of people that is bent on tarnishing the reputation Government by misusing public resources and warned that their days are now shortened.
The regulation is not only about Government motor vehicles but other resources adding that the auditor general’s report year in and out raises concerns on issues of misuse, misapplication and over expenditure of public resources which should come to an end, said Mr Mutati.
He said already on the cards is the introduction of the call-centre where the public will be able to engage with the Government Transport Control Unit and report any form of abuse of the vehicles.
In addition to this, the minister said his Ministry is designing a programme that will kick start the sensitisation exercise for both the general public and the civil servants on how best to minimise wastage of public resources. The exercise will be rolled out to all parts of the country.
“So we are in Livingstone as part of this critical journey to ensure that people’s money is not wasted,” he said.
Mr Mutati said his Ministry has taken 2018 as a year of turning around and give oxygen to the fortunes so that they get new lease of life which he said is achievable as the staff are geared to demonstrate how it will be best done.
He said the Transformation Agenda which is anchored on the five pillars is the initial step towards changing the people’s mind-set so that they buy into the journey for revival.
“For the Ministry, for 2018, we have said principally we are going to have fun. We are going to enjoy ourselves and deliver for the people of Zambia,” he said.
The ministry, he said, is going to concentrate on the five priorities which are the Transport policy, which includes control of the usage of motor vehicles and it has been finished only waiting for final approval and will be implemented.
Secondly the minister said his ministry wants to transform and restructure Government Printers and give it more oxygen so that it will be able to do the works it used to do in the past.
Thirdly, Mr Mutati said in a statement signed by the ministry’s public relations officer Ndubi Mvula that there is a number of wasting and idle assets situated on prime areas of Lusaka and elsewhere which will be developed into productive resources.
“The fourth issue is to support the valuation of Government and other properties so that the council countrywide so that they have the capacity to collect rates. Once capacitated, the councils will be able to enhance their service delivery, “he said.
And for ESCO, Mr Mutati said there is a transformation programme already underway looking at the life of the firm beyond 2019 after the completion of the Kazungula Bridge.
“What is important is that you have to chew what you can bite and that is the philosophy,” he said.
Earlier, Controller of the Government Transport Control Unit (GTCU) Ernest Kunda warned that the exercise that started in Lusaka and now in Livingstone is an on-going practice that will cover the entire country.
He said his team will not relent nor get tired of controlling the use of Government vehicles because a lot of taxpayers’ was being wasted at the expense of service delivery.
Mr Kunda said that not only will the exercise be conduct during the day but will also be done after 18 hours countrywide because the regulations are very clear and expects people to “simply comply. There is nothing wrong with one getting authorisation”.
He said people whose intensions are bent on abuse are the ones that have a habit of disregarding the law but cautioned that they will face the wrath of the law which is very active and alive.
“Like the Honourable Minister MUTATI once pointed out that we do not to rejoice in impounding and charging penalties because that is not the best way of collecting revenue. All we want to see is compliance with the rules, simple,” he said.
The Livingstone operations which started at about 07:00 hours was conducted at the Mosi-oa-Tunya Road junction with Airport Road, Nakatindi-Sesheke Road and Mosi-oa-Tunya-Victoria Falls Road resulting into 29 government vehicles impounded and charged.
The majority were from outside Livingstone being used by Government employees who have been attending the Zambia Institute of Chartered Accountants (ZICA) annual general meeting at Avani Hotel.
And many taxi drivers expressed happiness when they saw the Government Control team swung into action saying as they drive passed the check points “mwachita bwino (you have done well) to impound these vehicles. There is too much abuse of government vehicles here in Livingstone. Also visit the bars and night clubs, you will find them”, as they were heard saying.