THE Catholic Church in Chadiza has asked the government to state clearly whether it will work on the Chipata/Chadiza road or the people should wait for another government to repair it.
And chief Zingalume says the Church is capable of upsetting the tables.
During a feast of Chadiza’s Sacred Heart parish on Sunday, a day which also marked the 20th priestly anniversary for Fr Osric Kondwelani Banda and 10th priestly anniversary for Fr Lameck Simoya Banda, the church requested that President Edgar Lungu travels to Chadiza from Chipata by road so that he could see the state of the road.
Fr Simoya said Chadiza had so many problems but that the biggest one was the road network.
“Maybe we can ask the President to come to Chadiza and when coming here he should not come by chopper but by road. Now when he will come by road, maybe he will use the Zemba road but he should use the Chipata road so that he could see the problem of the road and how it is. This problem has been there for sometime,” he said.
Fr Simoya said when he sees heaps of sand on the unfinished Chipata/Chadiza road, solar powered hammer mills that were not working and the challenges surrounding the e-voucher, he asks himself whether the government would help or they should wait for another government.
“A lot of questions come as to whether it is this government that will help us or we should wait for another government. Should we wait for another government or we should start thinking of another government that can come and sort out these problems? The Chipata/Chadiza road is only 73 kilometres, it doesn’t even reach 100 kilometres. The Chipata-Lundazi road is 187 kilometres, the road from Chipata to Nyimba is more 200 kilometres but this stretch is only 73 kilometres, can the government fail to work of this stretch? These are just complaints,” he said.
Fr Simoya said if the government wants to help the people of Chadiza, it should start with the road. He said the church would not talk about the road again because it had done so on several occasions. Chadiza parish priest Fr Gabriel Kwaku Mwanza said the church had been working well with the government and hoped they would continue working together. Fr Mwanza also appealed to well-wishers to continue assisting the Church which had started building a new church structure.
And chief Zingalume, who echoed the priest’s concerns, said the road had been a major problem for the people of Chadiza.
“Ninayesa kuti oimilila boma anene kuti chaka chatha tinapita pamodzi ku Lusaka kulondola programme ya mseu chifukwa tinali pamodzi ndi oimilila boma, ngakhale lero zochitika sizinaoneke. Ndiye muja tamvera kale kaya tiyembekezeko ena kati na amwe aba ma answer abwele, koma cinthu comwe afunika udziwa ndicakuti pakumana banthu bena simimudziwa kuti church niboma payekha itha kupindamula matebulo. Sizikakhala bwino kuti mawa tizikalililana (I thought the government representative would say that last year we followed up the road issue in Lusaka because we were with him, up to now nothing has been done. Now like we have already heard, whether we should wait for others to come and work on the road or these same ones will do it, the answers will come but what they should know is that when people meet, others do not know that the church is government on its own, it can upset the tables. It will not be okay to cry for each other tomorrow),” he said.
Chief Zingalume said it was difficult for government to think about the over 72 kilometres (Chipata/Chadiza road) when the eight kilometres stretch from Chadiza boma was also in bad state. He said the people were still waiting for government to work on the road. And Dr Jonathan Mpundu Chama from Chadiza district health office who represented the district commissioner promised to relay the concerns raised by the church and chief Zingalume to the relevant authorities.
“I did listen attentively to some of the concerns that you have brought before the house. I will not make any comment on that because it is above me but I promise to convey your sentiments to the authorities,” Dr Chama said.
He said the government would continue to cooperate with the church in serving the people.
The feast also marked the parish’s 52 years of existence since it was opened.