[By Bright Tembo]
GOVERNMENT has distanced itself from local government permanent secretary Eddie Chomba’s comment over the Alick Nkhata bridge.
Local government minister Charles Banda said Chomba’s statement over the flyover is not the position of the Ministry nor the government position.
He said the government had not found any reason for bridge to be demolished because it was not death trap.
“I would like to say with deep regret that the statement is not from the Ministry of Local Government and it’s not a ministerial statement neither government position that the bridge is going to be demolished because we have not found any engineering reason why the bridge should be brought down,” Dr Banda said.
He said the flyover was sanctioned and approved by the Road Development Agency (RDA).
“That bridge was sanctioned and approved by the RDA not the Ministry of Local Government. They have competent engineers who did the advice and did the certification up to this far and I would like you to know that they have not been any engineering report suggesting that the bridge could be death trap,” Dr Banda said. “I did have a meeting with my PS (Chomba) this morning to find out what exactly could have happened. That was his personal opinion, that’s how he looked at the issue himself. You see we have to act when we have information from people who are technically competent to advise for or against so since we have no information from our engineers at the ministry and RDA, that statement should not be taken as government position.”
He apologised to President Edgar Lungu for the embarrassment caused by Bishop Chomba.
“We would like to apologise particularly to the Head of State for the embarrassment that we could have caused as Ministry of Local Government for that statement which is not a representation of the government,” said Dr Banda.
Bishop Chomba told ZNBC that the flyover should be demolished while calling for sanity from the engineering sector.