-A traditional ruler in Luwingu district in the Northern Province has supported the removal of subsidies on maize and fuel by government, saying the money realised will help upgrade the country in many areas of national development.
Chief Chipalo of the Bemba people told Northern Province Minister, Obby Chisala, who paid courtesy call on him yesterday, that the removal of subsidies was long overdue and appealed to his subjects to rally behind the ruling Patriotic Front (PF).
He said the removal of subsidies will see most of the roads being upgraded to bituminous standard in Luwingu and other districts under the link Zambia 8000km road project.
Chief Chipalo said the country has lagged behind in terms of development and there was need for the people of Zambia to sacrifice for the better future other than condemning the removal of subsidies.
Chief Chipalo said his subjects have welcomed the government initiative aimed at alleviating the problems they are going through such as poor road network, lack of health facilities and inadequate secondary schools.
The traditional ruler said due to inadequate secondary schools in the district, some parents have opted to marry off their children at a tender age because they could not afford to send the children to other far-flung areas like Lusaka and the Copperbelt.
He condemned marrying off children before they complete their primary and secondary school education.
And the Minister for Northern Province, Obby Chisala, outlined the developmental projects the PF government has put in place which would benefit Luwingu residents.
Mr Chisala said the PF does not fear losing popularity because of the hard decision it has taken to remove subsidies but its aim is to see that Zambia developed like other nations.
He said in Zambia it is costly to move by road because all the roads are in bad shape while in other countries the roads are making it easy for people to visit each other.
Mr Chisala said all the provincial roads were done by the United National Independence Party (UNIP) while the Movement for Multiparty Democracy only did Kasama-Luwingu for 20 years it had been in power.
He boasted that the entire road network in all the districts countrywide was being worked on by various companies to make them better for transportation.
“PF has not come to destroy but to develop and make Zambia a beautiful place to live in,” he added.
The Provincial Minister said Zimbabwe, Mozambique South Africa and Namibia were the least to get independence but their roads, schools and health infrastructure are more advanced than in Zambia because people were pocketing funds meant for infrastructural development.
Mr Chisala further said most Bembas in Northern Province have died without seeing road developed into bituminous standard, a situation he described as very bad.
He said President Michael Sata would like to make sure that roads were upgraded to bituminous standard so that people in the region could see the tarmac and to enable them move frequently as their colleagues in other countries do.
Mr Chisala said the province has good natural resources which can attract huge investment if the roads were nicely done.
“We have abundant water, land, minerals and natural resources. If put to good use the province would be admired by outsiders who will be flocking in for jobs and investment,” he said.
He appealed to chief Chipalo to continue sensitizing his subjects to desist from marrying off their children but instead encourage them to go to school.
Mr Chisala said government, through the Ministry of Education, intends to construct another secondary school in chief Katuta in Lupososhi Constituency, adding that government is happy that the traditional leader has already released land for the school project.