FROM the time Michael Sata died in 2014, many of the developmental projects he initiated in Muchinga Province, specifically in Chinsali, have all stalled, observes Democratic Party president Harry Kalaba.
And Kalaba has declared that “Come what may, the PF will lose the elections in 2021”.
After winning the Republican presidency in September 2011, president Sata delinked Chama district from Eastern Province and Mpika, Chinsali, Isoka, Mafinga and Nakonde districts from Northern Province to create Muchinga Province.
The province was gazetted in 2013 and Chinsali was chosen as the provincial headquarters.
President Sata later cut-off Shiwang’andu from Chinsali district and made it a stand-alone district.
In March 2017, President Edgar Lungu also delinked Kanchibiya and Lavushimanda from Mpika district and declared them districts.
Muchinga Province now has Lavushimanda, Mpika, Kanchibiya, Shiwang’andu, Chinsali, Isoka, Mafinga, Nakonde and Chama districts.
Kalaba was in Muchinga Province for party membership mobilisation.
On Monday evening, Kalaba featured on Red Carpet Programme on Muchinga Radio in Chinsali.
He said Chinsali was where greats like Simon Mwansa Kapwepwe, Robert Kapasa Makasa, Kenneth Kaunda, Paul Mushindo and many other freedom fighters came from.
“In 2006, the people of Chinsali Central Constituency voted for Christopher Chiponde Mulenga to be their member of parliament. Balisumine ukuba mu opposition abena Chinsali mu 2006 (the people of Chinsali chose to vote for an opposition member of parliament in 2006) pantu balishiba ukutila tabawila kubakumba musunga (because they don’t side with those who wield wealth),” Kalaba said.
“When Mr Sata won to become President in 2011, he created Muchinga Province and chose Chinsali as the provincial headquarters because he knew this is where Zambia’s independence heroes came from. You saw the number of construction projects that started in Chinsali!”
He regretted that: “from the time Mr Sata died in 2014, many of the developmental projects he initiated in Muchinga Province, specifically here in Chinsali, have all stalled.”
“Paul Mushindo University is a white elephant today; water reticulation works in Chinsali town have stopped. My coming to Chinsali indicates the death of the PF. We can’t have a government that continues to mistreat people like this,” Kalaba complained.
“The people of Chinsali should realise that had they not voted for change in 2011, there wouldn’t even be a foundation of Paul Mushindo University today and all these other recent buildings in Chinsali town wouldn’t be there.”
Kalaba told the people of Chinsali and Muchinga Province to join the DP.
“Don’t listen to the district commissioner and the provincial PS (permanent secretary) who are ever full because there is a lot for them to eat. By the way, the PS madam Joyce Nsamba is a very hard-worker. I know her very well when she was [deputy permanent secretary] in Luapula Province. She merits being a permanent secretary,” Kalaba said.
“I want to see to it that the system changes so that we can continue from where Mr Sata left. Even if they use the OP (Office of the President) officers to trail my movements around the country, it will not deter me. Come what may, the PF will lose the elections in 2021.”
He further regretted that Chinsali General Hospital today was poorly stocked with medicines and that it was replete with cockroaches.
“Can you get proper medication in an institution like that? When your children fall ill, you take them to Chinsali General Hospital where there are no medicines. But have you ever found your provincial PS and provincial minister seeking medication at Chinsali General Hospital? They don’t go there! They go to private hospitals,” Kalaba explained.
“When I become president, I’ll not be allowing ministers, the vice-president or even myself to go outside Zambia to seek medical treatment. How can it be that leaders are afraid of going to the hospitals they establish? Why should we leave Zambian hospitals to only the poor and yet we, as leaders, go to Johannesburg for medication? After all, there’s even no guarantee that when you go to India, South Africa you’ll come back alive.”
He stressed that Chinsali General Hospital needed an improvement by stocking it with all the needed medicines.
“As the President of Zambia, when I fall ill, I’ll be going to the UTH and whatever comes will find me in there. After all, umweo uwankoko waba kuli cibinda (the life of a chicken is dependent on its owner). The country has been destroyed because of selfish leadership,” he said.
Meanwhile, Kalaba complained about the rutted state of the Chinsali-Kasama road.
“There are no township roads in Chinsali and you can’t even know whether you are in Chinsali town or you are in Lubwa. The only difference is that in Chinsali town you would see a branch for a bank. But all in all, Chinsali is empty,” said Kalaba, adding that he was not in politics for self-enrichment.
“If that’s what I wanted, I wouldn’t have resigned as a minister.”