By JOHN SAKALA
Chililabombwe Municipal Council has increased burial fees at Kakoso cemetery by 67 per cent.
But Chililabombwe residents have called on the council not to turn burying of loved ones as a fundraising venture.
Chililabombwe Town Clerk Cosmas Chalusa has announced the increase in a public notice posted on Chililabombwe Facebook page.
Mr Chalusa said the VIP burial fees at Kakoso had been hiked from K3, 000 to K5, 000 translating into a 66. 67 per cent.
He said the council had also introduced a K30 burial fee on all other traditional burial sites.
But speaking for the community Chililabombwe UPND Information Publicity Secretary Joel Yombwe said the increase is a fundraising venture for the local authority.
Mr Yombwe said there is no way the council can make over 50 percent increment of the burial fees at Kakoso when the other burial site is far away in Kawama Township.
He said the hike is bad timed as the country is faced with another challenge of Covid-19.
“This is fundraising venture. Our people even fail to buy a bag of mealie meal at the funeral, coffin and some walk on foot to the graveyard. Most of Members of Parliament and Councilors are the ones who are forced to buy coffins and mealie meal at the funerals of one loved ones.
“Why then should the council make such a decision and the Local Government Minister is quiet? Is he detached from the harsh reality our people are going through? Why is PF increasing everything when it claims to be pro-poor?” he asked.
He has implored the Council to lobby for nearby land from Konkola Copper Mines which is safe and turn it into a near town burial site.
Mr Yombwe said the Council should look at the plight of the people and realise that they can’t afford.