THE Presidential Empowerment Fund has the potential to uplift the livelihoods of citizens in the country, says Fund coordinator Clement Tembo.
Speaking when he handed over chicken incubating machines to 15 women groups in Kapiri Mposhi yesterday, Tembo said that President Edgar Lungu was desirous to see that citizens lead dignified lives through empowerment programmes.
“The President of the Republic of Zambia Mr Edgar Lungu is desirous to see that citizens lead dignified lives through empowerment programmes. And the Presidential Empowerment Fund has the potential to uplift the livelihoods of citizens,” Tembo said.
And Tembo said politicians should not divide the people.
“I want to tell you people of Kapiri Mposhi that have gathered here mwileka ba politicians balemilwishanya [don’t allow politicians to make you fight each other]. Politicians should not divide people,” he said. “We need to love one another because we are all Zambians despite [the fact] that you might belong to different political parties. And that is why President Lungu is insisting that we need to co-exist and love one another.”
Tembo also disclosed that beneficiary groups would be sent to Lusaka for orientation on how to operate the chicken incubating machines.
Each women group would be given K2,000 as start up capital in order for them to purchase eggs to incubate.
And Central Province Presidential Empowerment Fund representative Patrick Chishala stated that the empowerment programme should not be politicised.
He said that the Presidential Empowerment Fund should benefit all citizens regardless of their political affiliation.
Chisala further urged recipients of the chicken incubating machines to put the apparatus to good use.
Kapiri Mposhi council chairman Obby Kabasa complained about the absence of UPND councillors at the handover ceremony.
Kabasa, who is a member of the opposition UPND, lamented that only civic leaders from the ruling Patriotic Front were invited to witness the hand over of chicken incubating machines.
“National coordinator, I am thankful that you have come to Kapiri Mposhi today. But I have an issue. And I want to be frank. Kapiri Mposhi district council has 16 ward councillors; eight from the PF and [another] eight from the UPND. But I have noticed that only councillors from the PF are present here while councillors from the UPND where I belong are not present,” lamented Kabasa. “I think the coordination was not done properly. The way I operate, I don’t segregate civic leaders in the discharge of my duties. I always ensure that everyone is taken on board because we belong to one family.”
But Kapiri Mposhi district commissioner Peter Mwiinde blamed the Patriotic Front officials in Kapiri Mposhi, whom he said were tasked with the responsibility of inviting beneficiary groups and civic leaders.
Mwiinde informed Tembo and his entourage that the UPND councillors were still on their way.
However, Tembo asked Mwiinde to swallow his pride and publicly apologise for not inviting councillors from the opposition UPND.
Tembo emphasised that the Presidential Empowerment Fund should not be politicised.
Mwiinde could not, however, tender a public apology to Kabasa and the people that had gathered.