A traditional leader has called on government to expeditiously construct Machiya bridge on Kafue river in Mpongwe district to prevent loss of human lives.
And Chief Machiya has predicted victory for the Patriotic Front (PF) in the forthcoming Mpongwe parliamentary by-election slated for February 28, 2013.
Chief Machiya said many lives have been lost in his chiefdom owing to the absence of a bridge on Kafue river.
He said government should therefore come up with a lasting solution which according to him is the construction of a bridge on the river.
He stated that in 2011 alone, eight children died when the boat they were in capsized as they attempted to cross the river.
The traditional leader said this when Vice President Guy Scott paid a courtesy call on him at his palace in Mpongwe today.
He said the lack of a bridge has proved costly for local farmers who have to use a pontoon to ferry their produce to the other side of the chiefdom.
Chief Machiya disclosed that during the last farming season farmers in his chiefdom had used up to K27 million on pontoon services.
The chief also urged government to construct a new district hospital in the area saying the old hospital is usually congested.
He further appealed for the sinking of boreholes in the area to improve people’s access to safe drinking water.
And the traditional leader predicted victory for the PF in the February 28 Mpongwe parliamentary by- election saying this is because of government’s good governance policies and commitment to fostering development since assuming power.
Chief Machiya also thanked President Michael Sata for creating the Ministry of Chiefs and Traditional Affairs to oversee issues affecting traditional leaders.
Meanwhile, Vice President Guy Scott assured the chief that government will take on board all the issues that he had raised.
Dr. Scott said government remains resolved to constructing the bridge under the Link Zambia 8,000 scheme.
He however called for patience from the local people.
And speaking when he addressed a rally in the same chiefdom, Dr. Scott called on the local PF members to be broadminded and accommodative to new members in the party.
He said there was need for old PF members not to be jealous of the new individuals who were joining the party since politics was a game of numbers.