About K800 million emergency fund disbursed by the Government to tackle the outbreak of cholera in Mpulungu has been diverted.
This came to light in Mpulungu on Tuesday during a District Preparedness Committee meeting.
Northern Province Permanent Secretary Emmanuel Mwamba said he was shocked that Mpulungu District Council used part of the K800 million emergency fund to purchase a tractor.
The council also paid staff allowances from the emergency fund instead of focusing expenditure on mitigating and preventing the cholera outbreak.
Mr Mwamba has since demanded a report from council secretary Jonathan Simbeye to justify the expenditure from the emergency fund.
The Permanent Secretary said during the meeting that he was concerned that despite deploying the Water Affairs Department to sink boreholes in Mpulungu, the council opted to hire a private firm to do the work at a cost of K100 million.
Mpulungu District medical officer, Raphael Chanda informed the meeting that the district had recorded 196 cholera cases since the outbreak in August this year.
Dr Chanda said the hospital had recorded one death so far, while two others died in the community.
And Mr Mwamba, who later toured Mpulungu District Hospital where he found three people admitted to the cholera bay, said the Government would be forced to restore strong preventive measures such as closure of schools, banning gatherings including funerals, and limiting movements of people to contain the epidemic.
Mpulungu is situated on the lakeshore of Lake Tanganyika with a population of about 98, 000 people.