The Times of Zambia (Ndola)
8 August 2007
Posted to the web 8 August 2007
GOVERNMENT has so far released K3.9 billion of the approved K6.4 billion in this year’s Budget for street children’s programme, Community Development and Social Services Minister, Catherine Namugala, has said.
In a ministerial statement to Parliament yesterday to outline the progress and status of the street children programme, Ms Namugala said her ministry had removed 52 children from various streets of Lusaka and 398 others in seven other districts.
The minister said the ministry of Finance and National Planning had from January to date released K3.9 billion out of which K647,612,250 had been used to purchase 11 motor vehicles to ease the problem of transport for district social welfare officers.
She said K1,197,213,333 billion had been disbursed to 19 districts, which were currently implementing the programme of removing children from streets.
Seven motor vehicles have therefore, been delivered to the various districts to ensure efficiency of the programme.
The release of the money demonstrated Government’s commitment to upholding the right and welfare of children in Zambia.
"The ministry has so far removed 52 children in various streets of Lusaka and mostly at the Manda Hill fly-over bridge out of which 38 boys have been placed at Fountain of Hope Foundation children’s home.
"These children are currently undergoing rehabilitation and will soon be reintegrated into their families," Ms Namugala said.
Families for most of the Lusaka children have been traced and were being prepared to receive them.
The other 398 children were removed from the streets of Kitwe, Ndola, Kabwe, Solwezi, Kafue, and Kapiri-Mposhi.
Ms Namugala said 138 of the children had been placed in children’s centres for screening while 260 of them were reintegrated into their families after they were screened.
Government has empowered families of the children with start-up capital for income generating ventures.
She said more families would be empowered as the programme currently focused on 22 districts captured in the 2006 street children situation analysis survey report conducted by her ministry.
Government has renovated and provided three children’s centres with equipment to ensure appropriate standards for the care of children.
Home Affairs Minister, Ronnie Shikapwasha, told the House that Government was seriously scouting for a suitable officer to replace the late Lusaka Province police commanding officer, Wasakaza Ng’uni.
Lieutenant-General Shikapwasha was responding to a supplementary question by Kalomo MP, Request Muntanga, (UPND) who asked when Government would find a suitable replacement of the late Mr Ng’uni.
"The late Mr Ng’uni was a wonderful worker to easily replace and we are taking a deep search for his replacement but as soon as this is done the nation will be informed," Lt-Gen Shikapwasha said.
Earlier, Home Affairs deputy minister, Grace Njapau, told the House that the order by Inspector-General of Police, Ephraim Mateyo, to introduce day and night police patrols was now paying off in as far as reducing crime in Lusaka was concerned.
Ms Njapau was responding to a question by Lukulu East MP, Batuke Imenda, (ULP) who asked what Government was doing to curb the sudden increase in violence, crime and general lawlessness in most compounds of Lusaka as reported in the media.