Coffin-Making Article Raises Dust [opinion]

AS a follow-up to last week’s topic on why coffin-making business should be conducted in seclusion as opposed to doing so in public places, I want to look at the feedback.

The responses that came through on last week’s publication on this column have prompted me to look back at the impact this topic had on the general public.

When the article in this publication appeared on Wednesday last week, in the afternoon on the same Radio Joy FM based here in Lusaka featured a panel which heatedly debated the content of my article.

I received a call from one of discussants saying that they were discussing my article and wondered whether I was listening to the radio at that time.

The column has raised so much dust that I have continued to receive telephone calls and Short Messages Services (SMS) through my mobile phone throughout the week.

One Lusaka caller informed me that he totally agreed with the article and that coffin making should not be in the public domain but be confined to secluded places.

Another man who called me from refuge settlement in Maheba, North-western Province was quick to point out that in Solwezi on one of the busy roads people are busy selling coffins and the sight is appalling.

And one SMS which I received around 20.00 hours on the same day reads in part:

“I have just read your well-written article on why coffin making should be private. You have basically highlighted on issue that is very sensitive, considered as taboo. I also want to totally agree with you on the satanic aspect owing to the nature of the business. It should be a business that should be restricted’.

However, another Lusaka caller aroused my thoughts by squarely putting the blame on the local authorities for not controlling such businesses in the public places.

While the affairs of running the country is left in the hands of the central government, the local government authorities are empowered by law to impose certain requirements on any business set-up within the boundaries of these localities.

Local governments are empowered by law to ensure that before any business commences in its business dealings, it should be permitted to do so by issuing it with a business operating license.

And according to the caller, the Lusaka City Council should be blamed for not carrying out its duties by ensuring that such business of coffin making is regulated.

He further said that if the local authorities who issue permits to business to operate within its boundaries are relaxing in regulating such businesses then things will get out of control and anybody will start making coffins from anywhere to make money.

This also brings me to another issue, the business of selling second hand clothes in town.

It is true that the Head of State did allow traders to go ahead to trade in second clothes in some areas in Lusaka but that did not mean that they should now camp on the roads Camouflaging the roads with second hand clothes with all sorts of wares including chairs as they sit right on the in the roads and partially blocking the traffic is dangerous.

Suppose a vehicle loses control rams into all those who are sitting on the road! When one tries to tell them to move out of the roads they will simply say “mind your own business” since you are not the one who permitted them to trade on the roads.

The local authorities should interpret the Presidential directive and not to allow traders to be sitting in the middle of the roads and block the traffic just because they have been allowed to trade in some

places. Suppose an accident occurs who going to be blamed?

It is the local authority for misinterpreting the directive by allowing people to behave like headless chickens in conducting their businesses.

In conclusion local authorities play pivotal roles in regulating local businesses and can withhold trading licenses in some cases if the situation is not in the interest of the public.

Source : The Times of Zambia

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