People of Imusho village in Sesheke, one of the remotest areas of Zambia will now be able to make phone calls after the launch of the first ever communications tower in the area.
Transport and Communications Minister Mutotwe Kafwaya who launched the tower on Tuesday said the development is significant as it will now allow the people of Imusho to communicate with the outside world using a mobile phone.
Mr Kafwaya said since Independence in 1964, lmusho has never been provided with any telecommunications services which had hampered development in the area.
He has since commended Zamtel for constructing the tower which is part of the 1009 Phase II GRZ Communication Tower Project.
Mr Kafwaya stated that bringing communication services to Imusho demonstrates President Edgar Lungu’ strong commitments to universal access to communication.
“Since Independence, you have been waiting for this day. You had 27 years of UNIP, 20 years of MMD and there was no communication tower here. Now under the leadership of His Excellency President Edgar Chagwa Lungu, you can now communicate. You should never forget who brought you this tower,” Mr Kafwaya told the crowd gathered at the launch event.
Mr Kafwaya said President Edgar Lungu will be remembered for taking telecommunication services closer to the people in remotest areas such as Imusho.
He further stated that the installation of communication towers in rural areas has helped in the improvement of service delivery.
Mr Kafwaya said the PF government has invested heavily in the telecommunication sector because of the importance of effective communication services in service delivery.
He said in the wake of the outbreak of Coronavirus, people are encouraged to work from home and do online transactions hence the need to improve the telecommunication sector.
“Communication is very important and these things have been understood. And this is why we have invested in this sector,” he added.
And Zamtel Chief Executive Officer Sydney Mupeta revealed that his company will complete the installation and upgrading of all the 1009 new towers by December this year.
Mr Mupeta said this year, over 700 new sites have been rolled out in different parts of the country with Western Province receiving 72 new communications sites so far.
He said this is in addition to the 38 sites that the Province had before the commencement of the project which now bringing the total to 110 sites in Western Province as at end of May 2020.
“As Zamtel, we remain committed to supporting the Government’s agenda of taking development to all corners of this country in order to support developmental activities that depend on effective communication services. With the coming of these sites, farmers here can now communicate with the buyers of various products,” Mr Mupeta said.
“In addition, the customers can also receive payments for their produce on our Mobile money platform, which we call Zamtel Kwacha. This is a convenient and secure payment option which also helps reduce the handling of cash which curtails the spread of Covid-19.”
And Sesheke District Administrative Officer Mrs. Albertina Maliwa Kabatana said the installation of the tower in Imusho will result in effective service delivery and will easy communication challenges in the area.
She said as a boarder area, Imusho villagers have been depending on neighboring Namibia for a number of services but that the closure of the boarder due to lockdown has affected them significantly.
Mrs. Kabatana said the coming in of the Zamtel network in the area will therefore easy a number of challenges the people of Imusho had been facing.