By Sunday Chilufya Chanda
Lack of electricity was among the challenges that the Chief Chikanta’s Chiefdom in Dundumwezi presented to President Edgar Lungu when he visited the area in July 2017. President Lungu’s Government responded by taking over K9 million-worth of Dundumwezi Grid Extension by the Rural Electrification Authority (REA). Further Government began constructing a 237 kilometre road to connect Kalomo, Dundumwezi, Itezhi-Itezhi and Namwala in Southern Province at a cost of K220 million.
The UPND leader knows too well that the electrification of rural parts of Zambia such as Dundumwezi and providing them with a good road significantly improves the livelihoods of rural populations and provides them with opportunities to realize their economic well-being. Mr. Hichilema knows too well that rural electrification of areas such as Dundumwezi will trigger a positive multiplier effect that cuts across various socio-economic sectors including Agriculture. The question is why he is fighting development that goes to benefit the masses of our people.
IT IS STRANGE THAT HICHILEMA IS TRIVIALISING AN ACT OF SABOTAGE
It is strange that Mr. Hichilema seeks to trivialize the cutting down of electricity poles in Dundumwezi which must be seen a tragic act of economic sabotage – that’s taxpayers money. His edgy kneejerk reaction raises more questions than answers as to the occurrence being an act of political sabotage.
This is particularly so, because as is widely known, UPND and its acrimonious leader have become so desperate that they will use any means to get into State House, even if it means destroying infrastructure and retarding development in their so called strongholds. The good people of Southern Province, including their Royal Highnesses must denounce Hichilema’s backward politics aimed at frustrating development in UPND strongholds.
HICHILEMA’S RECORD OF BLOCKING DEVELOPMENT
It is not a coincidence that this act of sabotage comes just a few days after one of their senior officials recently admitted on a radio programme that they indiscriminately reject anything progressive that the PF Government puts forward, because all they want is for Hakainde Hichilema to occupy State House.
It is Hichilema’s UPND policy to bar his party officials such as MP’s and councillors from engaging with government officers, to foster development in their respective areas. Zambians must reject such retarded politics!
There is no doubt that Dundumwezi saboteurs belong to the same party whose leader ejected the former Kafue and Kaoma Council Chairpersons from their party just for participating in development programs for their areas officiated by President Edgar Chagwa Lungu.
Mr. Hichilema’s UPND finds it disturbing that President Lungu is spearheading the PF Government development agenda that seeks to leave no one behind.
Zambians know that Dundumwezi is one of the few areas that gave His Excellency Dr Lungu and the Patriotic Front the least number of votes and overwhelmingly voted for UPND and its presidential candidate in the last election.
However, unlike certain politicians, President Lungu and the PF development agenda is blind to regional and partisan interests. President Lungu is thus determined to take meaningful development to Dundumwezi and all parts of the Country.
IF HICHILEMA AND UPND MEAN WELL THEY SHOULD ASSIST POLICE INVESTIGATIONS
If Mr Hichilema means well, and he is not uncomfortable with President Lungu and the PF’s embracing our brothers and sisters in Dundumwezi and the rest of Southern Province, we are wondering as to why is he reluctant to call on UPND in the area to assist with police investigations.
If Mr Hichilema is truly serious about calling on perpetrators of such economic sabotage in his “stronghold” being brought to book, and if he is still popular with the grassroots in Dundumwezi, we do not understand why is he grudging about going beyond his token knee-jerk reaction. We wonder why is he dragging his feet to direct UPND in the area to assist the police with investigations. That is what mature Opposition political parties do -rising beyond partisan interest to safeguard those of the public!
The erection of the electricity poles and the supply of electricity to Dundumwezi Constituency and surrounding areas of Southern Province is the first step to the socio-economic empowerment of Zambians in that area.
UPND DUNDUMWENZI MP’s LIES CONTRADICT HIS BOSS
Hichilema in his Statement categorically acknowledged in very clear language that the sabotage was in Southern Province. Therefore Edgar Singombe the Dundumwezi MP should not lie that there is no electricity in Dundumwezi when he knows about REA’s projects in the area.
Why isn’t he remorseful about an act of sabotage affecting his own constituency? Why does Singombe feel compelled to deceive an entire nation?
“KATANGA KALULA KAKALUZYA MATANGA NYINA.”
(A bitter pumpkin made other pumpkins bitter: An entire region cannot be stereotyped on the basis of one bitter person)
Hakainde’s selfishness and destructive nature is against Tonga values – UPND under Hichilema does not represent the aspirations of all Southerners: he should just allow UPND officials to assist with investigations_
We reiterate our call to our traditional fathers and mothers in Southern Province and all our brothers and sisters in the region to condemn these acts of sabotage designed to retard development in Southern Province,
There are so many areas of rural Zambia waiting for the kind of development being sabotaged by UPND in Dundumwezi. We have no doubt that Mr. Hichilema’s politics of lies and bitterness have convinced his supporters in Dundumwezi that electrification of the area amounts to corruption which they should reject.
We have information that according to UPND in Dundumwezi and other areas, they will continue to sabotage PF’s led development agenda in the region because their leader tells them that its corruption.
Mr. Hichilema must take responsibility and repent from his retarded politics. In case Mr. Hichilema has forgotten, this is taxpayer’s money and Zambians are called upon to condemn Mr. Hichilema for playing politics with a very serious matter of economic sabotage.
It is immoral for any politician to trivialize such when the Country has major competing needs.