—-Chiefs and Traditional Affairs Deputy Minister Suzan, Kawandami, says government has a mandate to foster development in all rural areas.
Ms Kawandami says it is for this reason that the Patriotic Front (PF) government, through the Ministry of Chiefs and Traditional Affairs, is conducting a programme where all chiefdoms are required to come up with an industry to empower the local people.
She said government shall endeavour to promote and facilitate programmes aimed at reducing poverty among the people.
The deputy minister was speaking yesterday when she graced this year’s Chivweka traditional ceremony of the Luchazi people of Chief Kalunga in Kabompo district.
Ms Kawandami said government recognises chiefs as key partners in enhancing national development and unity in the country and is committed to the preservation, development and promotion of dignity for all traditional leaders.
She said government is aware of the challenges faced in the social economic development of the nation and is implementing projects such as the Link Zambia 8000 and Pave Zambia 2000 road projects to address the problems.
She said through the Pave Zambia project, government will upgrade about 5.7 kilometres of township roads in Kabompo district to bituminous standard and that the contracts have already been signed while the contractors are preparing detailed engineering designs so
that works could commence.
Ms Kawandami said government has also set aside K77, 224 for the construction of Chikonkwelo bridge in Kalunga Chiefdom while the Disaster Management and Mitigation Unit (DMMU) has set aside funds for works on Maveve and Kasalya bridges.
She also assured small scale farmers in the district that government will buy all their maize and pay their money on good time.
She said so far the Food Reserve Agency (FRA) has bought 2000×50 kg bags of white maize from farmers in Chikenge area in Kalunga Chiefdom.
Meanwhile, Chief Kalunga has commended government for embarking on the construction of health posts in the country to enable more people easily access health facilities.
He said he is confident that people in his chiefdom will also benefit from the project and stop covering long distances to access good health services.
The chief, however, appealed to government to construct a secondary school in his chiefdom so that children can easily access good education rather than travelling to Kobompo town which is about 50 km away to access secondary education.