FORMER Chipata Central member of parliament Lameck Mangani says he has been on the political bench for some time and he has now decided to enter the pitch.
Launching his bid to recontest the seat which he held from 2006 to 2011, Mangani said he has decided to aspire for the Chipata Central following numerous calls from people.
“Many people will come with a lot of things, but you have to be careful because the main aim for politics is to help improve the living standards of the people. My message is that, we are coming from far, I have stayed for 10 years,” he said. “If it were in football, they call it bench warming, but you find that people are not scoring. So, time comes when you demand for the boot so that you can also play. So that’s where the situation has gotten to.”
Mangani said things were not okay, especially in Chipata.
“The main issue is that government borrowed money to work on various roads, but we just hear that such, such a road has been done this side and that side. But what is happening to the roads we left (here in Chipata)? In politics, if there is no person who reminds, if a child does not remind the father that the shoe is torn, it will be difficult for the father to know that the shoe is in that state,” he said. “Even the development of the country is like that, the leaders must push very hard and that is why here in Eastern Province, as MPs during that time, we had an association for all the MPs to look at the development of the province.”
Mangani said during his time, the MPs worked as a team to push for various developments.
“Now even in football, can you score alone? Even when you are Kalusha Bwalya but there is no one to pass you the ball, can you score? So, football is about giving each other and we need to create unity of purpose. All of us here in Eastern Province, leaders from various levels, we all need to work together,” he said.
Mangani outlined a number of developments that he achieved during his tenure as MP saying being human, he succeeded in other things but other things did not go as expected.
“When I look at what happened in the past, it is like a field; if you plant maize and you go away and come back and you find those that remained are uprooting the maize, you feel bad! When you elected me together with my colleagues as MPs and as councillors, we had various programmes,” he said. “Our first programme was tarring of township roads, registered over 186 women clubs and we constructed markets, among many other things. Now most of these things are not there, because of this when Mr (Michael) Banda (former Dilika ward councillor) was saying there was a problem here and that the people want you to come back, I had no option but to heed the call because Chipata is my village. If we allow these passers-by who only come to Chipata because of elections, the problems that we are facing will not end.”
Mangani said there were a lot of things that are being said in politics with others insinuating that PF is finished.
“Others are saying President Lungu has failed and are saying all sorts of things. But in politics people say a lot of things but what I want to say is this: when we were removing… during Kaunda, we were saying he had failed and things were not okay. We removed Kaunda, did things improve? MMD came and we removed them,” he said. “In every leadership, when you are on the seat, you face various challenges. Leadership is like a family. In a family if you say your father has no brains and you think that when you are going to marry things are going to be okay. Now you marry, a child is born, now you look for Chitenge, blanket and so on. The challenges of the country are like family challenges, sometimes you divorce your spouse and end up being married to a witch.”
Mangani said just like at the family level, if people are not serious, they may land themselves in problems.
“It is not easy. It’s not good for a person to just wake from sleep and say no ‘I am now getting the government’. It’s not as easy as that. The country has its own challenges. When there are problems, we are not saying there are no problems in PF. When there are problems, the biggest solution is to sit down. The problems that we have here in Eastern Province are those caused by leadership gap. When you are playing football and there is no way of passing the ball to each other properly, can you win the game? That is why during our time we used to sit down with councillors and discuss and later meet the President,” he said. “Now if you elect me as MP then I go to Lusaka for good, how am I going to know what is happening at the village? In the end people will start saying that this government has failed because the person you elected is not seen.”
Former Chipata mayor Patrick Teleka Chirwa also indicated that he wants to contest the Chipata mayoral seat.
Former MMD chairperson for agriculture Chishala Chilufya urged the people to vote for President Lungu and Lameck Mangani for Chipata Central.
Eastern Province PF mobilisation committee member Bright Chihana said Mangani was a member of the national mobilisation committee for the PF.