The Barotse Royal Establishment (BRE) has pledged to support the implementation of the Seventh National Development Plan (7NDP) and provide land for developmental projects in Western Province.
The BRE made the pledge when Minister of National Development Planning Alexander Chiteme and African Development Bank (AfDB) Executive Director Patrick Zampita paid a courtesy call on the Kuta in Limulunga during their on-the-spot check of developmental projects in the Province.
The entourage is expected to inspect the AfDB-financed Cashew nut Infrastructure Development Project and the Rural Water and Sanitation Project.
The BRE, through Induna Namunda and Induna Kalonga said it is committed to work with Government in implementing developmental programmes in the Province.
And the BRE has further requested the Minister to send documents containing the 7NDP as well as a team of experts to explain the development plan to the Kuta so that land can be provided when government requests for it.
The BRE further noted that claims by people that it is difficult to get land in Western Province is just a misconception adding that, when land for development is asked for in the Province it shall be provided as the Establishment is ready to work closely with government in its developmental agenda.
In a statement released to ZANIS in Lusaka today by Head of Public Relations in the Ministry of National Development Planning, Sikabele Chikuba, the BRE said it has seen many developmental projects in Western Province, including the construction of roads and the Canal that is used for the Kuomboka Traditional ceremony, among others.
On the Cashew nut project, the BRE noted that the project will be very beneficial to the people of Western Province, especially women and youths and requested AfDB to extend the project beyond 2019.
The BRE further requested Mr. Chiteme to convey the Royal Establishment’s plea to President Edgar Lungu, to upgrade Nalikwanda Constituency to District Level and the Mongu Municipal Council to be conferred the status of City, in a bid to woo investors and promote development.
The Barotse Royal Establishment has also requested government to provide funds and monitor some developmental projects that have stalled and those abandoned by contractors and to finance the tarring of roads as the local authority does not have the resources to undertake the projects.
Minister of National Development Planning Alexander Chiteme said Government remains committed to developing all parts of Zambia including Western Province.
Mr. Chiteme indicated that he is pleased that the BRE dispelled the myths behind acquisition of land in Western Province and also the affirmation to welcome investors to partner with government to develop the area.
Mr. Chiteme has since directed the Permanent Secretary in his Ministry to provide copies of the Seventh National Development Plan to the BRE, and all royal establishments countrywide.
He noted that the Ministry is in the process of translating the 7NDP into local languages, for easy comprehension by all the citizens.
The 7NDP is a policy document that outlines the Zambian Government’s desired developmental outcomes as well as the accompanying strategies and programmes to accelerate development efforts towards the Vision 2030 without leaving anyone behind.
The implementation period for the 7NDP is between 2017 and 2021.