Government through the Ministry of Gender and Child Development will this week hand over cheques to 15 women clubs in Solwezi district amounting to over KR37, 000 as start up capital for the various income generating projects the clubs will embark on.
Gender and Child Development Deputy Minister Josephine Limata who will hand over the cheques to the women clubs said the Patriotic Front (PF) government has placed empowerment of women on top of its development agenda as it realizes the important role women play in eradicating poverty in households and the education of citizens.
Ms Limata said President Michael Sata’s administration will leave no stone unturned to ensure Zambians live decent and dignified lives.
She said contrary to assertions by certain quarters of society that government was only duping people with promises, empowerment funds were available to fund projects that the women will embark on.
Ms Limata said the PF government is determined to eradicate hunger and poverty among the women especially those in rural areas in order to uplift people’s living standards.
The Deputy Minister was speaking when she paid a courtesy call on Chief Musaka and Chief Chikola of the Lamba speaking people of Solwezi district yesterday.
She urged the traditional rulers to strictly monitor how empowerments funds were been utilized to avoid abusing the funds.
Ms Limata said government will not accept a situation where funds meant for income generating projects are shared among club members.
She said the PF government as a pro-poor government is committed to eradicate household food shortages through such ventures.
Ms Limata also stressed the need to curtail early marriages in chiefdoms across the country saying the trend is impacting negatively on the development of young girls.
She said traditional leaders need to discourage the scourge and sensitize their subjects on the importance of educating the girl child.
And the two traditional leaders have called on President Sata to turn Shidamo into a district for development to be taken to the area.
They stated that the area had long been earmarked to be turned into a district but wondered why it had taken long for the plan to be actualized.
The two traditional leaders also called on government to commission Shidamo Technical High School whose construction was completed sometime back.
Meanwhile, Chief Shidamo noted that arresting parents who marry off their teenage girl children would be the answer to abating early marriages in chiefdoms.
He said the trend is becoming a source of concern for all as girls as young as 13 years become wives and mothers, a situation which he said is not ideal and health for the young girls.
Meanwhile, Chief Musaka appealed to government to help in completing his palace which is still under construction.
Speaking through his representative Simon Kalambo, Chief Musaka disclosed that he has so far spent KR25 million on the construction of his palace and that government should consider refunding him his money and completing the construction of the palace.
The traditional leader also urged government to consider sinking boreholes in his chiefdom for people to have access to clean drinking water, construct the Solwezi-Chikushi road and install a telecommunication mast to enhance communication in the area.