recognitionGOVERNMENT must consider naming Inter-City bus terminus in Lusaka as FTJ Inter-City station in recognition of the role the second Republican President Frederick Chiluba played in improving the transport sector in the country, former Minister of Transport and Communication William Harrington has said.
He said during the first republic people used to queue for buses as they relied on the State owned United Buses of Zambia (UBZ).
Mr Harrington said people should not capitalize on mistakes Dr Chiluba might have made but should appreciate the sanity that the Government under his reign brought to the transport sector.
“Dr Chiluba should be recognized for the role he played in bringing sanity to the transport sector in the country. At least Government should rename Inter-City bus terminus in Lusaka as FTJ bus terminus in recognition of the important role that the second president played,” he said. Mr Harrington said people should realise the fact that the private sector was not allowed to engage in the passenger transport business without the approval of UBZ during the first republic.
He told the Daily Nation in an interview that it was during Dr. Chiluba’s time that Government waived duty on imported buses.
Mr Harrington said Dr Chiluba endorsed the idea of putting up intervention measures as suggested by him (William) in light of plans to close UBZ which was deemed corrupt by many.
“I advised cabinet to empower and facilitate the private sector to acquire and operate bus services in the country by waving duty on importation of buses. This was aimed at avoiding problems that would have arisen as a result of the closure of UBZ. The success story in the passenger transport sector today is accredited to him,” he said.
Mr Harrington said it was unfortunate that successive government have been naming prominent institutions after some former presidents but literally ignoring Dr Chiluba. “It is sad that while Lusaka International Airport has been named after Dr Kenneth Kaunda and the stadium in Ndola was named after Levy Mwanawasa, no institution of significance has been named to honor the contributions made by Dr Chiluba,” he said.
The former minister was hopeful that Government under the leadership of President Edgar Lungu would give serious consideration to the proposal.