Sunday, February 25, 2024

About Milupi’s Statement on Chadiza and Vubwi Roads: A Look at the Reaction by Eastern Province Elders

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By Sean Tembo – PeP President

1. By now it is common knowledge that while on a tour of Eastern Province, Minister of Infrastructure; Charles Milupi said that the Chipata – Vubwi and Chipata – Chadiza roads are not economically viable and will therefore not be prioritized under the public-private-partnership (PPP) model. Of course this attracted a lot of sharp reactions, firstly from the Catholic Church and more recently from a group of Eastern Province elders led by Hon. Lameck Mangani, who demanded that Charles Milupi withdraws his statement and apologizes to the people of Eastern Province. Of course Milupi has tried to re-explain his statement, although l personally could not see much difference between his initial statement and his subsequent explanation of what he meant in the initial statement.

2. Anyway, the purpose of this my article is not necessarily to dwell on what Charles Milupi said or how wrong it is, no. Am sure enough people have debated that statement already and they have pronounced their respective verdicts. The purpose of this my article is to discuss a particular narrative which the Eastern Province elders raised which l feel is too dangerous to be left unchallenged. In trying to justify that the Vubwi and Chadiza roads are important for Government to work on, Hon. Mangani and his fellow Eastern Province elders kept emphasizing that the Province had overwhelmingly voted for HH and his UPND and therefore deserved to be repaid with developmental projects. The elders further went on to give an example of Chadiza District Council, where they stated that 15 of the 20 Councillors including the Council Chairman are from the UPND party, and hence the Chadiza and Vubwi roads deserve to be prioritized.

3. Such a narrative that people or areas of the country deserve national development when they vote for a ruling party is wrong. All parts of Zambia deserve national development from the Government of the day, whether or not they voted for them in the last election. It should be noted that national development is not undertaken with HH’s personal money or Charles Milupi’s personal money, no. National development is undertaken with taxpayers’ money. Each and every citizen of this country is a taxpayer. Even those that do not have a Tax Personal Identification Number (TPIN) like my grandmother; Dailes Daka in Mulima Village of Chief Kapatamoyo, when she goes to buy boom detergent paste at the nearby Kantemba to wash her apparel in readiness for church on Sunday, she pays Value Added Tax (VAT) which finds its way into the treasury and is subsequently used to fund national developmental projects.

4. Hakainde Hichilema’s New Dawn Government has a duty and obligation to develop all parts of Zambia regardless of whether those parts voted for him or not. That is because Hakainde Hichilema and his Government are merely custodians of this nation’s financial resources, for now. The country’s financial resources belong to the people of this nation. Therefore, the narrative which was driven by Hon. Mangani and colleagues that Eastern Province deserved national developmental projects because it overwhelmingly voted for HH is wrong and in bad taste. Perhaps even comparable in its bad taste to the statement by Milupi that the Chadiza and Vubwi roads are not economically viable and do not deserve to be prioritized.

5. The reason l found it particularly necessary to publicly challenge the narrative that areas or regions of Zambia that voted for HH are the ones that deserve developmental projects is because of the adverse effects it can have on provinces such as Luapula and Muchinga which did not support UPND in the last election. Going by the narrative of Hon. Mangani, what are we saying about these two provinces? That they deserve no developmental projects under HH because they did not overwhelmingly vote for him on 12th August? That kind of mindset is totally wrong and undermines national unity. Apparently a lot of people preach national unity but few practice it. Most people feel that if they preach national unity, they are immediately absorbed of the responsibility to practice it. That preaching it alone is enough. Practicing national unity is more important than preaching it.

6. Since we are talking about Eastern Province, a part of Zambia where l come from, allow me to extend some counsel to my fathers, mothers, uncles, aunties, brothers, sisters, nieces and nephews in the province. I know that the ascendancy of the new dawn to national leadership has caused anxiety especially to those who were staunch supporters of the previous regime. Most are anxious of what the new order of things will entail for themselves individually and for the province at large. Of course that is natural and expected. But my particular concern is that in an effort to re-align with the new Government, some are going overboard by disparaging the opposition and sometimes the previous regime. That is absolutely unnecessary. If you supported the previous regime, be proud that you exercised your constitutional right to do so. If you currently support the opposition, again be proud of your chosen political affiliation. If you wish to support HH and his new dawn, remember to only bow your head. Do not stoop. Let us maintain self-dignity for it is what people will use to judge us. Political parties will come and go, Governments will come and go, but our self-dignity as a people should be allowed to live forever.

22 COMMENTS

  1. Truth be said all this is coming because of the wrong statement from Mr Charles Milupi. The best Mr. Milupi can do is to apologize instead of him trying to justify his statement. Arrogance is the worst character in a human being. Because from his statement since Chipata – Vubwi and Chipata – Chadiza roads are not economically viable it means they will not be worked on. Mr. Milupi must apologize

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  2. The previous regime leader was from eastern and RB was from Eastern why didn’t they work on the the chipata vubwi, chadiza rd

  3. Lameck Mangani is a known Political prostitute. Voting for a president or his origins cannot be used as reason for an area to get better services than those who didn’t vote for him or those outside his area of origin. If that were the case then even taxes to the government must follow the same pattern… places like Kitwe which gave support to other parties shouldn’t receive help from government but must keep all revenue collected as taxes including the mines in the district. Warped thinking to say the least.

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  4. I hv to agree with Sean Tembo here but I know about his imperial attitudes to some of his fellow citizens. Growth-supporting infrastructure such as roads can transform any place and turn into a place of vibrant economic activity.

  5. Sean Tembo speaks a lot of sense.
    I urge him to join PF AND BE A VOICE TO RECKON WITH
    SO FAR PEP HAS LITTLE FOLLOWING AND HE IS BEING WASTED

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  6. I agree with the PeP President, Sean Tembo, entirely. You cannot use the argument that because Eastern Province voted UPND and HH more than PF and ECL, Eastern Province deserves developmental projects like roads by GRZ. As the PeP President states, it has the implication that those Provinces that voted PF and ECL more than UPND and HH (Luampula and Muchinga, in this case) should be ignored when it comes to development. I drove on the Chipata-Vubwi road in the rainy season last year. To get to Vubwi, I had to go through Muchinji into Malawi to get to Vubwi because the Malawian route turned out to be better than the Zambia one. That is how bad that road is. We all know how much most of the Eastern Province is largely dependent on agriculture. Therefore, a bad road network does not support…

  7. … agriculture. No road in Eastern Province can be said not to be economically viable especially that we have now been talking about a landlinked Zambia and the economic benefits this brings with it. Mr Milupi’s thinking is very backward. We had such thinking among some planners and politicians during the UNIP times. The Kasama-Luwingu-Mansa road took long to be tarred because some planners and politicians during the UNIP times considered it not to be economically viable. PF tarred that road and it has turned out to be a shorter route from Lusaka and the Copperbelt to the Northern Province than the Great North Road. In addition, it is attracting more traffic and with new toll gates on that route it is proving to be a much shorter and economically viable route.

  8. Well said, SET.
    I agree with you 200% on this one. These politics of bringing development only to those who vote for a particular party started with Sata. He was notorious for this. Development needs are generated locally and passed on to government through the people’s representatives, the councillors and MPs. If government does not agree it should say why not so that the people may decide on that decision at the ballot box.

  9. SEAN Tembo driving on thin line, NOT to annoy anybody. He has tried to be objective and focus on the actual issues, and that is commendable.That is the type of criticism that we are all yearning for. PLEASE, KEEP IT UP if you want to CLEAR your name. I picked up 3 points, which I found interesting……
    1] -“All parts of Zambia deserve national development from the Government of the day….”
    ==> This point will not be complete without mention of previous government. We can not ignore or pretend NOT to know that, facts are available that suggest, some areas like Western Province have seen less development compared to others during the reign of previous government specifically, with PF GRZ. This should be mentioned to complete the context so we can learn from past mistakes.

  10. CONT`D
    2] -“l found it particularly necessary to publicly challenge the narrative that areas or regions of Zambia that voted for HH are the ones that deserve developmental projects is because of the adverse effects it can have on provinces such as Luapula and Muchinga ….”
    ==> Development decisions are made by the government and NOT by Hon. Mangani. And the government has made it clear, that they will strive for equal development in all areas, and that is what matters. However, certain areas such as the western province and northwestern should have a bigger share to balance development, SINCE they were left behind during the reign of previous governments.

  11. CONT`D
    3]-“But my particular concern is that in an effort to re-align with the new Government, some are going overboard by disparaging the opposition and sometimes the previous regime….”
    ==> The disparaging that you are concerned about is being fabricated by the same groups that you are defending – Opposition & Previous government. Since August 12th, of all articles you SEAN TEMBO has written, I can only highlight 2 articles that were fair and with substance – this today article & the one regarding Judiciary, 3 weeks ago. All other articles have been nothing but EARNED YOU the disperaging NAME TAG, which I won’t mention. If opposition & the previous regime will learn to be factual & objective, I believe WE WILL ALL BE IN SUPPORT to criticise any DISPERAGING feedback from the…

  12. CONT`D
    If opposition & the previous regime will learn to be factual & objective, I believe WE WILL ALL BE IN SUPPORT to criticise any DISPERAGING feedback from the current government. For EAMPLE, if the Police call you for questioning because of your article on FB, but instead you & opposition run to the media and accuse GRZ for misusing POA, then do NOT be surprised by the opposite reaction. Just stop lying. Tell the leaders of previous regime to STOP lying. Tell them to stop having press conferences in front of ACC or Police Station, where they tell lies.

  13. @ Kanene
    You wrote” We can not ignore or pretend NOT to know that, facts are available that suggest, some areas like Western Province have seen less development compared to others during the reign of previous government specifically, with PF GRZ.”
    Yes, there were roads in Western Province like the Lukulu road that were not worked on by the PF. I was on that road last year. But to say that Western Province saw less development as compared to say Eastern Province is a total lie. Under the PF, the Sioma bridge was constructed. Just like the Kalabo Mongu bridge which is the most expensive project in recent times. I have recently been to both Western and Eastern Provinces. What I saw in Eastern Province was that there were no major roads worked on. This was despite key ministries for road…

  14. @ Kanene
    … infrastructure and local government being run by Dr. Charles Banda and Hon. Vincent Mwale, both hailing from the Eastern Province. Not to mention that President ECL also hailed from there.

  15. @Kanene,
    I always felt Easterners in the PF government neglected their own province. No wonder the Province voted more for UPND than PF. Otherwise, Easterners never took development to the Eastern Province at the expense of other provinces. It was the same with Mr. Sata’s PF. There was no road infrastructure development to talk about that Mr. Sata and former Mpika MP Sylvia Chalikosa took to Mpika where they both hailed from. Luwingu district in the Northern Province has probably more tarred township roads than Mpika.

  16. What a combination: Sean Tembo and Lameck Mangani. The two of them together can only talk lies, they don’t know what the word “truth” means. And together they generate as much as 30 paltry votes, or 0.000000001%. LT: not worth all this attention!

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  17. This is an article written in a very sorbet Language and drive a very moral campus to our thinking. We need to build our nation and not leave it to mediocre politicians just because they have held a political office before. Surely if Mangani still advances that narrative explained by Sean then God help us. Sadly we have a lot of dinosaurs even in Hakainde’s cabinet.

  18. I totally agree with Sean Tembo, he raises vexing matters that has rattled Eastern province over the roads comments in the east.

  19. @ the observer – #14, 15 16
    “But to say that Western Province saw less development as compared to say Eastern Province is a total lie.”
    ==> Based on info in public domain, from 2016 to August 2021, total construction of roads in Eastern Province was 1909KM, while Western Province had 152KM. I believe this is sufficient proof for you to update your data. This is the basis of my argument against SEAN TEMBO. And based on this fact, I beg to also differ, on your other points where you allege that Vincent Mwale ignored Eastern Province. Muchinga, Northern, Central & Eastern were the main beneficiaries.

  20. @ General Kanene
    Can you please cite the source of your data. I have in recent times been to much of the Eastern Province as I have been to much of the Western Province. Tell me what the source of your data in terms of total construction of roads in kilometers is. Tell me also what type of roads these are, are they of bituminous standard or not. Tell me also the total cost of roads constructed in both Eastern and Western Provinces to give me a clear cost of where the PF spent more money. Without that information, you are just politicking.

  21. @General Kanene
    Talk about Lusaka and the Copperbelt Provinces having benefitted more from the PF infrastructure projects. Not the Provinces you are talking about to which you have probably never been.

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