[By Ben Mbangu in Monze]
MONZE district Anti-Voter Apathy Project coordinator Kebby Salisimu says effective service delivery is a critical benchmark to the growth of democracy in a country.
Speaking at a GIZ-sponsored community meeting in Chona ward in Moomba Constituency, Salisimu said democracy was not just about the freedom of choice but that service delivery was cardinal.
“For citizens to see the value of their choices of leaders in a democracy they must feel and see development taking place in their localities such as roads, drilling of boreholes, construction of dams and dip tanks among others,” Salisimu said.
He challenged civic leaders in the area to prioritise projects such as road infrastructure and water development.
“When development that people want takes place which stimulates economic growth in the community they feel that sense of ownership,” Salisimu said.
And Chona ward development committee chairman Fabian Maambo said those in public offices must fulfil people’s wishes.
“As Chona ward community we thank GIZ for sponsoring this initiative that encourages local participation in governance because it has created a platform where people are now interfacing with duty bearers on what type of infrastructure they desire to be done,” Maambo said.
He said for a long time development had eluded people in rural areas because their civic leaders were not prioritising key projects that had an economic bearing on them.
“We have economic feeder roads that link Monze, Gwembe and Siavonga that people in the area expect to be worked on in the 2020 budget. These roads are Hachaanga to Kayoola and Ntaanga, Kaumba to Njola, Njimbi to Moomba, Kasaka to Hamundonga, Kasaka to Kalundu connecting to the highway and Kaumba to Namateba,” said Maambo.