(By Chambwa Moonga in Katuba)
A TRADITIONAL leader in Katuba Constituency, Mungule chiefdom, says people in the area are demanding peace in the forthcoming campaigns in the area.
Following the death of Katuba UPND member of parliament Patricia Mwashingwele on May 2 this year, the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) has declared July 31 as the date for a by-election.
Senior headman Chipeso has told The Mast that there is no reason for political parties to resort to violent campaigns.
Chipeso, who is Wipson Mutangama, is a former Katuba Constituency MMD chairman as well as a former councillor for Muchenje ward.
“Soon we shall have a by-election in Katuba Constituency to fill a vacuum left by our beloved daughter Patricia Mwashingwele,” Chipeso said.
“We, the headmen and chieftainess Mungule, are still mourning our beloved MP. As such, we are requesting all the parties which will participate in the forthcoming election to conduct their campaigns in a peaceful manner. There is no reason to be violent in campaigns!”
He added that the people of Katuba were not requesting for peace but that they were demanding for it because: “we are entitled to enjoy it.”
“We do not want to import cadres from outside our chiefdom to come and beat up our people. What happened in Sesheke and Roan by-elections where people were beaten up and killed must not happen in Katuba Constituency, which is in Mungule chiefdom,” said Chipeso.
“We are a Christian nation and we should not condone violence.”
The headman also indicated that he was a strong advocate for the de-linking of Katuba Constituency from Chibombo district and declaring it a separate one.
Katuba Constituency has seven wards in Cholokelo, Muchenje, Kabile, Chunga, Chilo Chaba Lenje, Katuba and Mungule.
Meanwhile, some residents of Mweemba village in Muchenje ward complained about the potholed state of the Mwembeshi – Namayani road.
“What do politicians think about us people in rural areas? Don’t we deserve even just a reasonable road without bitumen? This Mwembeshi – Shabwalala – Namayani road has been like that before you (this author) were born! Why can’t they rehabilitate it?” wondered Obby Malawo, who spoke on behalf of other distraught residents.
“Campaigns will be starting very soon but surprisingly, no one will talk about this bumpy feeder road of ours! No one will talk about that rickety bridge across Chungu river in Shandyongo village here in Muchenje ward! What should we do and where should we go? It’s painful. Our hope is that somebody who will be elected will go to Parliament and prioritise these issues we have raised here, among other thorny issues in Katuba.”