LUSAKA Province minister Mulenga Sata has described as a rumoured a directive attributed to him ordering teachers in the province to work on Saturdays as part of their preventive maintenance programme.
Mr. Sata said there was no way he would have issues such a statement because he was yet to occupy his new office as he was still in the transition period trying to conclude the work he was doing at State House.
He said he was also surprised to see a statement that was alleged to have been written by him that teachers and pupils needed to work on Saturday when he had never even met the provincial education officer to issue out such directives.
Mr Sata said much as the statement would have been a positive reflection of what needed to be done especially in Lusaka where there was an outbreak of cholera, no one was forced to clean their surroundings on any day as it was not compulsory and wondered why only teachers would be targeted.
“I would like to deny categorically for the record that I issued any such a statement. As you are aware, there is a period of transition between jobs and so am still in the process of clearing my desk here and am only this morning going to report to the provincial administration to be introduced to the team and conduct a familiarisation tour of what constitutes Lusaka province under the Lusaka Province administration.
“Someone forwarded the same statement to me over the weekend. I don’t know where it came from; I don’t know what the context was for someone to issue that statement. I have not even met the provincial education officer and so, as much as some of the elements in there might be relevant to the need for cleanliness and hygiene in Lusaka, that statement did not come from me,” he said.
Mr. Sata said while there was a national policy and programmes such as the Keep Zambia Clean campaign, no group was targeted by the powers that be in implementing the programme.
“I think there is a national policy we are looking at here where we would like to encourage all the citizens to be involved in keeping their surroundings clean but this is a national policy. We have the Keep Zambian Clean campaign but I don’t understand why we should just target students and teachers.
“I don’t understand why you should not be cleaning in your neighbourhood because all citizens have their duty to clean their surroundings clean at their own free time and it cannot be a compulsory activity,” he said.
Last week, a statement was circulated in the media suggesting that Mr. Sata had directed all teachers in the province to be conducting preventive maintenance in all the schools on Saturdays.