NDC candidate in the forthcoming Roan parliamentary by-election Joseph Chishala has appealed to residents not to give their vote to the highest bidder. He said it was their collective responsibility to help him continue where Chishimba Kambwili left off. In statement ahead of the April 11 parliamentary by-election, Chishala has vowed to continue speaking for the people of Roan just like he did when he was a Mine workers Union of Zambia representative. He said Roan Constituency had survived because of mineworkers fondly referred to as ‘Bashi mine’.
Having lost his job for speaking for the mineworkers who were being mistreated, Chishala said he would continue advocating for better conditions for the residents of Roan. Chishala vowed to stand firm for Roan.
“I give utmost respect to you the people of Roan Constituency. The mineworkers fondly referred to as ‘Bashi mine’, your hard work and suffering which you have endured for so long is visible and documented. Without you, this constituency is nothing. It has survived because of you, even though you are less recognised by government and being treated like second class citizens who don’t matter anymore,” Chishala said.
He said having been a miner, he had an intimate relationship with the miners and was familiar with their challenges.
“I have worked as a ‘Shi mine’ before and most of you would recall that I was also the chairperson for Mineworkers Union of Zambia (MUZ) in 2014. I have worked as a ‘Shi mine’ for over 10 years and companies I have worked for include Lumwana, Bwana Mkubwa, Albidon, Luanshya Copper Mine and now Kalumbila Mine. My knowledge of the challenges the people of Roan Constituency are facing cannot be doubted,” he said.
“From our fathers, mothers and the youths in this constituency, I kneel before you asking that you don’t give your vote to the highest bidder. It is your collective responsibility to help me continue where my predecessor left by casting a vote for me. I lost my job for speaking for the mine workers who were being mistreated and unjustly fired and it is that voice that is still in me to speak for the masses but this time as a lawmaker where most decisions emanate from. Just as I stood up to challenge mine management to better the salaries and conditions of mine employees, I will stand firm for Roan and lobby that what we deserve is given to our constituency like before. I wont be silenced or intimidated.”
Chishala pledged to work with the residents and various stakeholders in achieving the desired development in Roan.
“We will censure that we empower youths with survival skills as opposed to promissory ‘employment opportunities’. We shall encourage youths in the constituency to embrace the spirit of entrepreneurship as well as empower those that would like to venture in agro business because we are endowed with fertile lands. We shall also prioritise local youths for local employment that may be created and this will be done according to their skills and qualifications,” Chishala said.
He also pledged to assist retired mineworkers who have not received their retirement emoluments without delay.
“Recreation centres will be revamped to provide the youths with activities other than bear drinking and other illegal activities. Retired mine workers
Most of whom have not received their retirement packages shall be assisted like before with a genuine platform and representation and make sure that what belongs to them is given without further delay. I promise to continue pushing this agenda and ensure that those retired get their terminal benefits and be able to feed their families and take their children to school,” he said.
“I will ensure water reticulation system is worked on by Kafubu Water and Sewerage Company so that some houses in the constituency that face water shortage have access. I will push for security lighting in the streets of Roan Constituency. Under Dr Kambwili, a lot of roads were tarred, refurbished and reconstructed but those which were still in the pipeline stalled because government wanted to discredit our hard working MP when he fell out of favour with enemies of progress, the PF.”
Chishala noted that the PF would never overshadow what his predecessor Kambwili had done for the people of Roan. He further pledged to continue making available agriculture implements for the farmers and helping the aged just like Kambwili had been doing. He said he would take the route of empowering women who had proved to be reliable in seeing the growth of a nation.
“We strongly believe that women are the ones that feed the nation. The old adage says, ‘When you empower a woman, you have empowered the whole nation’,” he said.
“It is for this reason that our mothers need to be empowered with skills and start-up capital for them to do some businesses so that our homes can be self reliant. Together we shall push this agenda and propel our Constituency to prosperity.”