Why voting for PF candidate Annie Patricia Brown as Chilanga District council Chairperson is the right thing to do
By Sunday Chanda, 16th July 2018
Chilanga district council was for decades a Cinderella constituency filled with immensely unfulfilled potential under Kafue district Council.When the Patriotic formed government in 2011 and established Chilanga as a District the following year, it did so with the prospect of lifting the standard of living for the people of Chilanga by initiating and accelerating the building of infrastructure such as roads, Health Centres, Schools and markets in order to fulfil the Patriotic Front’s vision of taking government to the people under the decentralization process.
Sadly, since Chilanga was established as a district, the lack of appreciation of the originators’ vision by the UPND and lack of collaboration by the opposition-led council has over the years frustrated the well-intended efforts and works of the ruling Patriotic Front Government led by His Excellency President Edgar Chagwa Lungu and his predecessor and the late PF founding President Mr. Michael Chilufya Sata.
In the words of John Maxwell, “Teamwork makes the dream work, but a vision becomes a nightmare when the leader has a big dream and a bad team”.
His Excellency President Edgar Chagwa Lungu and the PF Government have a vision for the people of Chilanga. However the indifferent opposition officials at local government level have turned the development dream into a sordid nightmare. UPND District Council chairpersons, councillors and Members of Parliament have avoided meeting and engaging Central Government officials on behalf of Chilanga residents for fear of expulsion from their party and other reprisals meted by their leadership. This has not helped Chilanga residents at all.
A new Era for Chilanga
However there is a boat that is emerging which is silhouetted in the rays of a new dawn. It brings with it fresh hope for the district to develop as envisaged by its PF initiators.
The sunrise of breakthrough began with the recent election of PF’s Maria Langa as Member of Parliament for Chilanga. This marked a defining moment as it demystified the “Chilanga is an opposition stronghold” myth and started clearing the haze covering the districts’ progress. In less than a month since the Patriotic Front MP was elected, she hit the ground running and there have been 3 grounds breaking ceremonies by the Minister of Health Honourable Chitalu Chilufya, for 3 different desperately needed health facilities in three different wards of Chilanga.
In its short history, the District is yet to have a Member of Parliament and a Chairperson from the ruling PF serving at the same time. But barring the improbable, that is about to change. The synergy and prospects of development that would unfold with such a scenario are bound to give the people of Chilanga goose bumps. This connotes that development. In such a scenario, even if Ms Brown as Chilanga PF Council Chairperson faced hostility and spiteful obstruction from the significant opposition numbers in the council, she would invariably garner the direct support of the people of Chilanga through the Ward Development Committees with the backing of Honourable Langa and Constituency Development Funds (CDF) as well as the Devolution Fund. She would run Chilanga District Council as an agent of Central Government in the promotion of social, political and economic development to the lowermost level.
With Ms Brown of the ruling party, Chilanga District Council is at the cusp of a new era of social and economic development as per the Chilanga District 2016 to 2021 Strategic Development Plan which was designed by the Ministry of Local Government and housing and launched with a view to modernising the district whose general outlook is in stark contrast to the capital city just 15 kilometres away. Pursuit of continuous improvement in service delivery through infrastructure development in the district is the common thread interwoven throughout the fabric of the plan.
The two PF women under the leadership of His Excellency President Edgar Chagwa Lungu and the Patriotic Front are not only already in sync with each other and the Patriotic Front Manifesto, but they are also in tune with government policy and programs such as the Seventh National Development plan. The pair has already drawn up and prioritised a to-do-list which they have pledged to jointly execute in league with relevant authorities once Ms Brown is ushered into office.
Legalisation of Land
At the top of the list is the pressing issue of the legalisation of land in settlement areas of the 10 wards in Chilanga district.
Roads and Infrastructure Development
The tarring of Chilanga Township Roads under the L400 Project features prominently on the PF Council Chairperson Candidate’s agenda.
Water & Sanitation
The sight of her fellow women in Nyemba, Mwembeshi, Nakachenje, Chilongolo, Namalombwe, and Chilanga as well as those in Chilanga and Chimanga walking long distances to fetch for water has galvanised the PF Chilanga Council Chairperson Candidate into seeking a sustainable solution to the lack of water supply in the district.
Ms Brown has expressed anguish at the lack of adequate health facilities in the district. As a mother and a grandmother she has noted the absence of adequate health facilities across the district and she has resolved to work with the area MP and other stakeholders, to remedy the situation once elected into office.
As a small scale farmer with a passion for agriculture, the PF Council Chairperson candidate has pledged to facilitate the establishment of the Chilanga District Farmers Union under ZNFU and to that ensure farmers are included on the E-Voucher System.
Added to this, Ms Brown envisions the participation of residents in the correctional facility farms in Mwembeshi and the construction of two jubilee markets.
Women and Youth Empowerment
In line with the PF Manifesto 2016-2021, to integrate women and youth in national development, she looks forward to the establishment of the Chilanga District Women’s Association and the Chilanga Youth Entrepreneur Association.
To this end Anne Patricia Brown has pledged to allocate at least 10% of CDF to women empowerment and 10% to Youth Empowerment programs. She has also committed to rehabilitating Mt. Makulu Recreation Centre together with many others
Corporate Social Responsibility
Ms Brown seeks to leverage strategic industries in Chilanga such as Lafarge, oriental Quarries, Marcopolo tiles and AquaSavana among others for the benefit of the residents of Chilanga.
Gender Equity and Gender Equality
While the erstwhile deceased Council Chairperson was a woman, the UPND bizarrely chose a man to replace her, thus regressing the pursuit for gender parity in political space and decision making.
On the other hand, the adoption of Ms Anne Brown as the PF Candidate for Chilanga Council Chairperson demonstrates the PF government’s commitment to Gender Equality. Her election will provide further impetus to Zambia’s implementation of international protocols, such as the Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW), the SADC Protocol on Gender and the 50-50 by 2030.
Anne Patricia Brown’s victory at the ballot would not just be an ordinary triumph for affirmative action for the sake of it. She is a phenomenal woman and a woman of substance.
A former employee of Bank of Zambia and the University of Zambia“Mai Anna”, as she is fondly called in her neighbourhood, is a practical hands-on community leader. She is a devout Christian and is the current Chairperson of the St. Anna Lay Group at her local Catholic Church. Through this church women’s group, she provides leadership by caring for orphans and vulnerable persons. In her vision for Chilanga, she endeavours to create uplifting partnerships with citizens, communities and organisations creating sustainable prosperity for Chilanga.
The Patriotic Front and Mai Anna bring forth an excellent opportunity for Chilanga District community to have a dedicated and visionary leader and mother chairperson for the District Council. With bold leadership and a clear action plan, Mai Anna is poised to galvanise the ethos at Chilanga District Council to ensure the purpose of the formation of Chilanga as a district is fulfilled.
Working under the leadership of His Excellency President Edgar Chagwa and the Patriotic front Government, teamwork will make the Chilanga Development dream work.
The author is Patriotic Front Media Director at the Party Headquarters