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 2011-06-09 08:41 pm Back to NEWS
‘I want to know the benefits of voting for MMD’...
Chieftainess Nkomeshya Mukamambo II speaks during the memorial service for Margaret Tembo, Chongwe member of parliament Sylvia Masebo’s mother, on Tuesday 07.06.2011.

Senior chieftainess Nkomeshya Mukamambo II of the Soli people has questioned the benefits of voting for the MMD government again after it has failed to deliver development in her area.

Addressing the gathering at a memorial service for Chongwe member of parliament Sylvia Masebo's late mother, chieftainess Nkomeshya also challenged works and supply minister Gabriel Namulambe who was present to report to President Rupiah Banda the feelings of the people of Chongwe on this matter.

“Every year time, we do vote but what is our benefit? There is nothing! There is nothing! I represent the people. I am not a politician but I am a traditional leader. I want to know what our benefits are for voting for the MMD,” chieftainess Nkomeshya said.

“When that day comes for us to go and vote, we are going to vote. I want to ask, ‘Is my vote and the vote of my people worth it to this government?’ If I cannot get the benefit from it, why should they vote if they are not reaping? I am sure even the minister Namulambe as he was coming he saw the type of schools that we have. Most of them are self-help schools.

Where are the government schools? Chongwe Basic School is a missionary and Catholic school which was taken over by government, it was not built by government.”

Chieftainess Nkomeshya said people in her chiefdom had always wondered whether they were part of the country since they were left out on development.

“It is my request Honourable minister Namulambe, do not keep it to yourself. Tell them where you are going. Tell them that this is what Her Royal Highness has said. I just want to be quoted and quoted correctly. I am not going to withdraw my statement or say 'No I was misquoted'.

If there are people writing, write exactly what I am saying and I will support it,” chieftainess Nkomeshya said. “It is painful and yet we in Lusaka Province are the ones that are housing the capital city. We are sitting the administration of government.

The benefits we are receiving are almost none. Honourable minister, when coming you travelled on this road and I am sure you have seen what this road is all about. We have waited too long. We are citizens just like any other citizen of this country, and I think we also have the right to share the national cake of this country which other people are sharing.”

Chieftainess Nkomeshya said the late president Levy Mwanawasa's administration had made a commitment to tar the roads, but that commitment has since died with him.

“We question sometimes, 'Where have we gone wrong to our government? What have we done wrong? Aren’t we part of the citizenship? Aren’t we like any other citizen of this country? Isn’t it that we are voters? Haven’t we registered as voters?” chieftainess Nkomeshya asked as the crowd shouted, “Yes!”

She bemoaned the poor road infrastructure in Chongwe district.

“We have no tar mark road to ease the movement of the peasant farmers. Yet you the government are saying that Chongwe is the second district in maize production. The same bumper harvest we are talking about is coming from this area but where is the road infrastructure to help the farmers ferry out their crops to the market? There is nothing,” she said.

Chieftainess Nkomeshya said the people of Chongwe also wanted their children to be educated like others. She said the health system in the district was nothing to be happy about.

“The hospital that is now serving as a district hospital was my palace. I took my dignity to come out of that palace. I gave it to the people so that it could be turned into a clinic to save people's lives,” she said.

“I went further to raise funds to renovate Chongwe Clinic to be what it is today. There is Kampekete Clinic, it is also my house. My nephew died and other relatives wanted to sell it but I stopped it so I could give it to the people.”
Chieftainess Nkomeshya said government has not done anything to improve the health care system in Chongwe district.

“Government wanted land from me to put up a hospital. I gave them but for all these years nothing has been done. Chongwe hospital was launched recently but it is standing as a white elephant. What was the point of launching it? What was the point of opening it if people are not getting the services that they want?” chieftainess Nkomeshya asked .

“People are dying, people are walking long distances when they have a hospital that can help them. That is a hospital without accommodation for the doctors, so where are the doctors going to be living?”

Chieftainess Nkomeshya said government had not constructed houses for doctors, which it had promised to do in the second phase.

“Is the second phase going to come now that we are going towards elections?” she asked.

Chieftainess Nkomeshya said the people of Chongwe were seeing new structures and new roads being built in other areas, but wondered why they were not benefiting.

“There is nothing here. There is nothing. I am saying this without fear or favour. I know I am making a public statement and it will reach everybody. If it will not be censored then people will hear my voice. I feel pain because my people are marginalised when this is our government,” she said.

“MMD is our party, PF is our party, UPND is our party but it is heavier on you because we have given you MMD the mandate to look after our people. But I think we are not being looked after properly the way other people are being looked after.”

Chieftainess Nkomeshya said she would not be intimidated and would stand to fight for her people.

“For the previous elections our votes have been given to the ruling party. What more does the ruling party want from us? What are we going to get from them? I am not being rude. I am just stating the facts. I have made this statement in the presence of government because people would have doubted it…so that you take my message to the authorities. If there is any criticism, let them challenge me.” Chieftainess Nkomeshya said as people applauded.

She said she was ready to do anything to ensure that the people of Chongwe lived better lives.

“I have now decided to give land to any investor who is willing to give us a school so that our children can be educated. Government has not done anything. My heart is congested and I am not trying to make you government unpopular. If there is anyone to be made unpopular, it should be me,” said chieftainess Nkomeshya.

In his defence, Namulambe said people should not blame President Rupiah Banda but his ministers. He said ministers were the ones who ensured that development reached respective districts.

And in her speech Sylvia Masebo said her family had put aside a total of K250 million to build a school to honour the late mother.

“The building of a school is a project that has been initiated by the family. This is because we want to honour our mother who believed in the importance of education. She always said that education was the key to the development of any individual and indeed the country,” said Masebo.

She said the building of the school would encourage more people to take their children to school and also discourage early marriages.

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