Chief Machiya of the Lamba people of Mpongwe District on the Copperbelt has advised the New Dawn Government not to fear making tough decisions aimed at improving the welfare of the Zambian people.
Chief Machiya said some people were opposing the new policies of the UPND Government to make it appear weak in the eyes of citizens.
Speaking when Minister of Green Economy and Environment Collins Nzovu visited the traditional leader at his palace on Wednesday, Chief Machiya pledged to work with the new government to improve the lives of his subjects.
“They say uwaingila mu mushitu tomfwa nswaswa (the one who goes to a thick forest shouldn’t pay attention to distracting noise). As you take over the Government do not listen to people saying they have banned cutting of trees. People saying that, are destroyers, because they want to destroy. They want to paint a picture that you are weak. As Government unity with us in working to uplift the lives of our people. We need to fulfill the vision of President Hakainde Hichilema of uplifting people’s standards of living. That vision is not for the President, it is for the people of Zambia. His vision is for the poorest people,” Chief Machiya said.
The traditional leader hailed the upward adjustment of Constituency Development Fund and the re-introduction of free education by the Government.
“It is a miracle in Zambia to increase CDF to K25 million plus. It is a miracle; if you don’t appreciate the CDF increase then you are not human. Seeing the difference from K1 Million to K25 Million is not a joke. That funding is coming to us people in the community, we will benefit from the development that is coming. So Mr. Minister kindly convey our message of gratitude to President Hichilema for increasing the CDF and let him continue in the same manner,” he said.
“The President should not pay attention to critics. Today are thankful for free education, my children today went to school today and we have proven that indeed free education is real. When our children are educated then that vision of uplifting people’s standards of living will be attained. Don’t not fear , even the President should not fear, we need to develop. For example you have seen how the Mpongwe Machiya Road is, it is very impassable,” Chief Machiya said.
He also spared some time to lobby for development in his chiefdom that is in need of good roads and a bridge across the Kafue River.
“Political parties from UNIP up to now have been promising that they will construct a bridge across the Kafue River in this chiefdom. The other year the PF Government promised to bring a good road and bridge but they failed. I appeal to you as the UPND Government to deliver and ensure that even those who failed see that real men have come. I want development in my chiefdom, go and tell the President that there are people who want to tarnish our names that we are with them. I am not with anyone; I support the Government of the day. I want to emphasize that I work with the Government of the day to bring development. As a chief my position is to represent people and if I am against the Government how will development come to my chiefdom? Development cannot come. So we want development,” the chief said.
“2016 General Election UPND won elections here in Mpongwe, 2016 Mpongwe had a UPND Member of Parliament, Mayor was from UPND and now we still have a UPND MP and Mayor which is like marriage. So in this marriage between UPND and Mpongwe we want development. In the last five years the people of Mpongwe suffered a lot so benefits for the term of 2016 to 2021 there was no development because here there was a UPND MP when the PF was in government. So there was no development then 2021 again we have formed a marriage. So Minister tell the President that now we want arrears for development we didn’t have in the past. We want that development which was hindered from 2016 to 2026 in arrears,” Chief Machiya said.
In his remarks, Mr. Nzovu called for the protection of trees and other natural resources in Mpongwe.
He also promised to engage the Ministry of Infrastructure on the need to construct a bridge across the Kafue River in the Machiya Chiefdom.