Home Columns Views from the ground; Bahati By-Election

Views from the ground; Bahati By-Election

A Sinazongwe fisherman with his children on Lake Kariba
A Sinazongwe fisherman with his children on Lake Kariba

A small boy stands on the aging Mwense bridge across the Luongo river (a stone throw away is the newly upgraded 10 MW Musonda Falls Hydro power station), his bucket only has three little fish. He recalls stories told by his now late grandfather of how once upon a time the waters of Luapula (Luongo included) possessed fish that seemed like it would last for eternity.

To the South of the Mwense Bridge lies Bahati constituency in Mansa district whilst to the North, Mambilima constituency in Mwense district. The contrast between the two sides of the bridge is so marked that recently a Chinese man working for Sinohydro compared it to the border between North and South Korea. In this case, Bahati represents North Korea!

On the Northern edge of Bahati constituency, at the popular Zambia-Congo bar in Chipongoma village, a clearly intoxicated man speaks in his native Ushi, “Move over Sesheke, you had your day. Its now our turn get a real taste of the national cake (or so we hope) for all the attention will be focused on us (and Roan)”.

Whilst the recent events of Sesheke have left a number of people afraid (including the author), Bahati is as Green as a leaf of Katapa! Whoever is standing on the ruling party’s ticket is guaranteed to win by a landslide.
That is not say the locals are happy or pleased with the perfomance of the Patriotic front entirely.

The previous MP for all his cool persona, maturity and civility did very little for his people, but as they say here “do not mess with Royalty” and him being a senior member of the Kalaba royal family meant he was almost unquestionable.

In all fairness, the PF government has probably done more for Luapula as a whole than any previous government. The hope of every Bahati constituent is that the incoming MP is as hardworking as Hon. Chilangwa, Hon. Chilufya and Hon. Chitotela.
For Bahati with all its Manganese, fertile land, heavy rainfall and waterfalls remains lagging behind in terms of development. From the sprawling Senama through Luamfumu to Chofwe and Mutuka, where katapa is eaten more times in a year than anything by the majority poor peasant farmers.

Where electricity is produced a stone throw away, yet many of the villages remain in the dark. Not to forget the Mansa- Luamfumu road stretch that keeps getting worse by the day.

On a personal note, i wish to make a special appeal to the incoming MP,
Kindly address the following;
a) The high drop out rates in the predominantly rural constituency.
b) Most of the schools in the area are understaffed.
c) Early marriages.
d) Lack of support for local farmers.
e) Lack of jobs!!!!

As the kid returns home with three little fish, he wishes he could just have a decent meal and prays that his uneducated Father gets a job. He hears some ladies whisper in the distance “The President will be coming to visit us and bring us development”. With a growing smile on his face he dashes home to tell his Father what he just heard, not caring the least that he dropped out of school just the previous day.

By S. Chionga
Author is a fish farmer in Ifumampelo area of Bahati constituency

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  1. Just a question, where is this aged bridge located on the Luongo river. I only see the modern bridge that forms part of hydroelectric complex on the Musonda falls.

    • @Khakisi which picture are you looking at? I see no bridge there.
      And why you PF obsessed with bridges, you want to go bring down that Bahati bridge too??

    • Drop that PF nonsense. I know there’s no bridge in the picture I am not blind. I’m only asking where the bridge is since I have not seen during my frequent visit to the area. Does it mean you eat, sleep politics? Use your brains for a change.

    • For some, bye elections are like a premier league game. A contest to gauge popularity. it’s got nothing to do with the welfare of the electorates.

      PF may win but the truth is that they have no desire or ability to end the hunger & poverty, youth unemployment of the Bahati people.

    • Maloza since this is my string let me assure you that my comments have nothing to do with politics or the useless by election. I come from Ku Luongo and I am not aware of the mentioned bridge. That’s all I wanted but some politically correct person brings in the PF. Even the picture doesn’t depict the Luongo river. It looks more like the Luapula River.

    • @Khakis, kikikikikk I am sure you work for PF media, so confused. What-more of you lose Bahati like the way your SG Mwila lost in Chipili? Look at picture again.
      Can’t you read that the picture is from Lake Kariba. Ati it looks like Luapula River!?

    • 1.5 To you anyone with different views is PF. You have not even bothered to address my complaint but instead you talk some rubbish about media nonsense. My dear for me I don’t care who becomes president but I will respect them. After all they are just a passing phase.

  2. Interesting writing by the Bahati
    fish farmer.
    But should have explained what
    katapa is. For you Lozi, it’s cassava leaf vegetable. Delicious.

  3. I just arrived today around 05hrs from Luapula where i drove to attend the burial of the late Chieftaines Mwenda in Chipili which several PF ministers,MPs,PSs,DCs,Chiefs attended.I equally met a Mr Chalwe (popularly known as USHI 0NE in Bahati.Mr Chalwe is the adopted candidate for Bahati and 100% incoming MP!!!In Chipili,Hon Javis Chabi was chassed away at the funeral of late Chieftaines Mwenda by Chipili residents as they now hate him too much for doing nothing after defeating Hon.Davis Mwila in 2016.from what i saw,it is clear that Chabi will 100% lose this seat to a PF candidate in 2021.The biggest part of Chipili is not a go area now for Chabi!!!

    • I thought so. Mulundu is the chief in charge of the area up to Musonda falls while Bahati falls under Mansa. We used to walk from Mambilima (chief Mulundu ) to Luongo to visit our great uncle at Musalula village.

  4. I need some education here please! What’s the work of a member of parliament in Zambia? The article says Kalaba never did anything in Bahati and some sections in the comment box suggest Mps are responsible for development which I guess they mean roads, school, hospitals, hydropower generation plant etc. I thought these guys are clearly legistrator and their works is to make laws and policies! I thought parliament has but only legistrative powers and not executive through ministries! may I be educated please

    • You have a point. From the time of independence people have always thought an MP will provide for them. Basically the duty of an MP is to see what his area requires, lobby and work with government in order to implement such.

  5. What has a photo of fishing at Sinazongwe (Southern province) got to do with Mwense? The photo is not relevant to the story. Why put it here?

  6. Kikikikiki… what can trib.als say, clearly no chance in Bahati.

    Can we have a by election in Dundumwezi please? At least trib.al Hacks can have a chance to claim that he was actually assassinated by Lungu but only brought back to life by prophet Bushiri. And report himself to ICC….!!!
    And close Prime TV again.

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