YOUTHS in Kapoche Constituency have complained that they do not see their member of Parliament Charles Banda since they voted for him in 2016.
But Dr Banda says he does not care whether people insult or criticise him.
Speaking on Friday when they were mending one of the dangerous parts of the road on Sinda – Nyanje road, group organiser Pius Njobvu complained that Dr Banda, including the area counsellor, were “nowhere to be seen” to address them on what delays development in the constituency.
He wondered what fora Dr Banda utilises to hear problems people of Kapoche were facing.
“Nyanje is such a busy area as we have hospitals, clinics, schools, courts and other activities of government but we see that the roads are affecting development in our area. 21kms from Sinda to here in Nyanje, the road is bad, we need good roads to transport our products. To make matters worse, we don’t see our MP, where is our MP? Since ma elections, I think we saw him once, we don’t know the function of our MP, we don’t see him kubwela kunvelera mabvuto yathu. Sitiziba kuti ayanvelera kuti (coming to hear our challenges. We don’t know where he gets our concerns),” he said.
He also said Chingombe area counsellor Stephen Tembo, who is also constituency secretary, was also not seen.
“Even the counsellor, he is nowhere to address us or guide us on what we should do. That is why when he found us working, he became rude when we asked him to contribute ka manzi cabe ( just for water for us to drink) and he was there saying he did not send us to work on the road then we became angry and denied him to pass where we were working until he used a bush road with his motorcycle. We don’t know how we are going to work with government since it’s nowhere to be seen,” said Njobvu.
Meanwhile, Samson Tembo, who runs hammer mills in Nyanje, said roads in Kapoche were terribly bad as if the area had no government officials or representative.
He said people in Kapoche were suffering but they had nowhere to seek help.
“The problem I have seen here is that roads are bad; wherever you go, you will find that roads are bad and people complain of what to do. Problems are real here and people are suffering. It appears as if there are no government leaders in the area. We have the (local government) minister here as the MP but it doesn’t show that. Since ma roads niyolubana vinthu vonse kuno nivolubana (are in a shambles, all things here are in a shambles),” Tembo, who helped the youths who were working on the bad patch of road, said.
He said he was finding it challenging driving on the road owing to its poor state.
He said it was hard for government to work on the road because its officials use Prados and Landcruisers which were meant for such terrain.
He said to such individuals, the deplorable state of the road was nothing to them.
But John Mvula said the initiative by the youths was a positive one because the locals were the ones who face challenges and not government officials.
He said it was not ideal to depend on government for everything but citizens should show government that they could do certain things.
“We cannot depend on government to do everything for us, we are the government. The minister, the MP stays in Lusaka, we are the ones who suffer this everyday, so if we don’t do it right now ourselves, who is going to do it for us? This is our home, we need to fix it on our own so that government sees our commitment to development,” Mvula said.
Mvula called on eligible and strong youths to venture into developing their area without waiting for anyone.
“We cannot always wait for government to do this. We have eligible youths who have strength, we can work…” said Mvula
However, a fracas almost erupted when the youths blocked the road and demanded tokens from five light trucks carrying mobile traders from Sinda, Katete and other areas who always trade in Mozambique every Friday.
The traders refused the request for tokens and called on the youths to go to Dr Banda to demand the tokens.
The youths on canters then brandished their machetes and axes and started sharpening them on a pavement while the youths also took their hoes and shovels and a push and pull ensued.
In the end, the vehicles paid the tokens ranging from K20 and above.
From 13:00-18:30 hours when the youths stopped demanding tokens from motorist, the youths raised about K204.
And Dr Banda said he does not care whether people insult or criticise him.
He said what impresses him was that the PF government was fulfilling its promises.
He wondered why people could not appreciate some visible developments, which the government had championed in various areas within the constituency.
Dr Banda further revealed that the K1,600,000 Constituency Development Fund allocation for Kapoche Constituency was out and that all the stalled projects would be completed as guided by President Edgar Lungu that no new project should be started before the pending ones were completed.
He denied being an absent landlord saying he was always in the area to foster development and that those that accuse him of being absent have their own agenda.