NATIONAL development planning minister Alexander Chiteme has assured the people of North Western Province of the government’s continued commitment to undertake development projects in the area including construction of roads, bridges, schools and hospitals.
During the Chidika Chanvula (Christian rain festival) traditional ceremony of the Lunda people at chief Mwanta Kanyama Makanda-Kanda in Mwinilunga district, Chiteme said the government would ensure that the Solwezi- Mwinilunga road was worked on.
“Being planning minister I will make sure that we plan for this road. The Patriotic Front government will continue to take measures to implement development programmes and projects such as roads, health centres, schools and water and sanitation infrastructure development in the rural areas to facilitate improved living standards of the people. This is being done fairly and equitably without being selective on voting patterns,” he said
Chiteme said the government would continue to encourage the development of agriculture and fisheries value chain.
He encouraged the people in the area to rear goats as there was readily available market in the Middle East, especially Saudi Arabia.
Chiteme implored all ministries and other stakeholders to closely work with chiefs in initiating chiefdom socio-economic development.
“Let us support and encourage our royal highnesses to come up with functional chiefdom strategic development plans. These plans can feed into the district development plans in an effort to take advantage of comparative advantages that exist in our social economic environment,” he said.
Chiteme said the government would continue to engage all chiefs and other stakeholders to end child marriages.
He commended chief Kanyama for promoting peace and unity in his chiefdom, as well as presiding over the Chidika Chanvula traditional ceremony, which is anchored on Christian values.
“Traditional ceremonies are unifiers and provide a vital platform for government and traditional leaders to interface and share ideas on how to accelerate poverty reduction and improve the lives of Zambians,” Chiteme said.
The decades-old annual ceremony is characterised by prayers, intercession, singing and dance to Christian songs to give thanks and honour to God for the rains and good harvest.
Kanyama and his subjects bring forth farm produce, which is later donated to prisoners, patients, boarding schools, the vulnerable and needy people in society.
Kanyama assured that he would continue to work closely with the government and promote development of his chiefdom.
He commended the government for various development projects that have been completed and others being undertaken in health, education and other sectors in his area.
This is according to Chibaula Silwamba, the ministry’s spokesperson.