PRESIDENT Edgar Lungu has urged residents of Lufwanyama on the Copperbelt not to be cheated by selfish politicians, with no track record, that they will improve things for them in their quest to seek power.
Mr Lungu said his government had already started improving things for the people in Lufwanyama as evidenced by the massive infrastructure development projects.
He said this yesterday when he addressed hundreds of residents at Shimukunami School grounds in Lufwanyama where he went to have a physical feel of the state of the district.
Mr Lungu also counseled civil servants in supervisory roles to ensure that they closely monitor government’s development projects under their jurisdiction.
His advice followed reports by Lufwanyama acting District Commissioner Aswell Chewe on the project for maize storage shed constructed using the Constituency Development Fund (CDF) which was not being utilised.
“You need to be getting to the ground and have a feel of the actual situation only then can you say you are in charge not just administering things from the office,” Mr Lungu said.
He said there was need for civil servants to pull-up their socks as Government was in a hurry to deliver development to the people.
Mr Lungu also toured the first ever Lufwanyama District Hospital, which was constructed at a cost of K15 million and was commissioned last year.
Meanwhle, President Lungu disclosed that Government was determined to engage mine investors in the emerald-rich Lufwanyama District, so as to reap maximum benefits for the country.
This is important especially at this time when copper has performed poorly due to a sharp fall in global market prices.
President Edgar Lungu foresees the need to maximise the potential in emerald mining, which can also bring wealth and job creation.
Investing largely in emerald mining could provide a turnaround of the economy largely dependent on mining.
The President had resolved to ensure that the mineral resource base started to translate into economic and social benefits of people in the area and the country.
Mr Lungu said it was sad that despite Lufwanyama being endowed with a horde of mineral resources such as emerald, there was nothing for the local people to point at in terms of benefits.
He said it was in view of this that he had resolved to engage the owners of the emerald mines in the district with the view to seeing how best the benefits accrued from the mines could translate into improved welfare for the people.
“We need to sit down with the emerald companies to see how best the benefits accrued from the mines can improve the welfare of local people,” Mr Lungu said.
He said it was his desire to have the local people and in particular the youth to begin to derive maximum benefits from the mineral endowment in the district by way of them getting jobs in the mines.
He was saddened that the emerald mines in Lufwanyama had been employing people from outside the district leaving the locals.
“These jobs in the mines, there is no reason why they should employ people from Kitwe, Kalulushi and Chingola when there are people here in Lufwanyama who equally need jobs,” he said.
He said time had now come for Lufwanyama residents to begin to derive maximum benefits from the mineral endowment in the district.
To ensure this, the Head of State intended to have an audience with both the traditional leaders and the owners of the emerald mines in Lufwanyama.