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Procurement officers in local authorities who are in the habit of inflating prices of goods and services to benefit themselves have been warned against this trend.

Local Government and Rural Development Minister Garry Nkombo has warned that any officer who will be found wanting will not be spared by the long arm of the law.

Mr Nkombo said that inflating of prices of goods and services in local authorities was rife, adding that under his watch, this must come to an end.

He was speaking during the commissioning of dormitories for firefighters at Livingstone City Council in the Tourist Capital.He als said that the only way to ensure safety of communities against fires is to prevent fires.

Mr Nkombo said that in many cases, some of the fires that have been reported in communities have been as a result of negligence by citizens.

He has congratulated the Livingstone City Council for playing a leading role in sensitising the public on fire prevention measures. 

Meanwhile, Livingstone  Mayor Constance Muleabai has revealed that the local authority plans on opening two fire brigade substations in Libuyu and Highlands respectively. 

Ms Muleabai said that the move is aimed at reducing the time taken to reach the scene of an incident in the event of a fire. 

She said that an effective communication system is key to addressing fire incidents but the communication system in Livingstone is problematic as residents cannot reach the fire station using the hotline number.

Ms Muleabai said residents using 3G and 4G network phones and Airtel are not able to contact emergency fire services via the hotline while Zamtel and MTN subscribers can only connect to the hotline using small non-smart button phones.

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