Senior Chief Mununga of the Shila people in Chienge district has commended government for commencing construction works for his new palace .
Senior Chief Mununga has however called for speeding up the pace of the works for the project so that it is completed on time.
ZANIS reports that the Senior Chief said there is need to have access roads to the construction site for his new Palace in order to enable heavy duty trucks ferrying building materials to reach the project site as currently such access was still a challenge.
He paid glowing tribute to the late President Michael Sata for the tone and pace of the developmental agenda he laid before his death and called on President Edgar Lungu to continue with the projects because Zambia would only move forward if the projects continue to be implemented.
The Senior Chief made the call when the newly appointed Luapula province Permanent Secretary Boniface Chimbwali paid a courtesy call on him at his Palace recently.
He said Luapula had remained the poorest province in the country because of lack of a University and vocational education which were critical institutions in the advancement of development in the region.
The Senior Chief appealed for a stand-alone district because the current status of his chiefdom sitting in both Nchelenge and Chienge districts had disadvantaged his people as they are failing to benefit from the Constituency Development Funds (CDF) of the two districts.
He said the two districts have been denying him access to the CDF as each of them refers him to either Chienge or Nchelenge as being responsible for projects in his chiefdom which has resulted in underdevelopment of his area and can only be sorted out once given a stand- alone district of his own as a chiefdom.
Chief Mununga disclosed that the first Boma named Kalungwishi was established at Mununga in his Chiefdom in the colonial times even before Kawambwa and Choma districts were established.
He also revealed that the first Post Office in Zambia was established at Kalungwishi Boma, the current Mununga and history must help to restore the status of the Kalungwishi Boma with the same boundaries which must be declared a District for him.
The traditional leader said Mununga area meets most of the necessary requirements of becoming a stand- alone district.
The Senior Chief added that President Lungu must religiously follow the vision left by the late President Sata because Zambia is poised for development in all the sectors.
He also acknowledged that Chiefs under the Patriotic Front Government have been repositioned as co-drivers of development in their respective chiefdoms which was not the case in the past 23 years when he was a sub-chief at Mwatishi.
He added that in the nine years that he has been Senior Chief, he has seen that Government has rightly repositioned the Chiefs as partners in the developmental process at chiefdom level.
Chief Mununga called for unity countrywide saying it was the catalyst for development regardless of political affiliation because Zambia was one country for all Zambians.
He also appealed for transport for his district forestry officer for him to do a good job at planting rubber seedlings in his chiefdom and called on the ministry of agriculture to enhance the timely delivery of farming inputs to his chiefdom because his subjects had diversified from fishing into agriculture following the depletion of fish stocks in the natural water bodies in the chiefdom.
The Senior Chief also revealed that the contractor (ASMO Contractors) awarded to construct a Science laboratory at Mununga Secondary School had left the site without completing the project after being paid in full.
He said the failure to complete the project had negatively affected the performance of pupils at the school and also caused the Examinations Council of Zambia not to give the School an examination Centre Number which has resulted in pupils sitting for their examinations at Ponde Secondary School which is about 50 kilometers away.
Chief Mununga also called for materialization of the construction of the promised health Posts in his chiefdom whose proposed construction sites have already been submitted to relevant authorities.
He added that he was also waiting for the materialization of the Food Reserve Agency (FRA) storage depot whose site was already submitted but construction works had not started at the proposed site.
The Chief said the demographic growth rate from the 391 villages under his charge qualifies for the creation of a police station, hospital, three local courts, modern bus station and a fuel filling station to meet the growing population demands in his chiefdom.
He said feeder roads leading to agricultural production areas in the Chiefdom should be constructed for easy transportation of farming inputs to the areas and delivery of agricultural produce to the market.
Chief Mununga said Schools like Chilimba, Kapako and Kabuta East Primary have no teachers’ houses which is a challenge for teachers because decent accommodation was a motivation for them to deliver quality service to the pupils.
The chief called for electrification of all schools in rural areas to motivate both the teachers and pupils in their academic work.
He said his people were actively supporting the community led total sanitation (CLTS) which has even led to the mammoth celebration of the attainment of Open Defacation Free (ODF) district status national event billed for tomorrow.
The Chief disclosed that for the first time, Mununga area joined the nation in successfully celebrating the commemoration of the 2015 International Women’s day on March 8, 2015 at Mununga.
He said traditional boundary disputes between his chiefdom and that of Mwata Kazembe were begging for Government intervention before they grow into serious issues of discontentment between the two chiefdoms.
The chief said his prayers were with President Lungu for robust health for him to continue providing leadership to the country to move the country from poverty to prosperity.
And newly appointed Luapula Province Permanent Secretary Boniface Chimbwali expressed concern at ASMO contractors for abandoning the laboratory project at Mununga Secondary School after a full payment of government funds.
The Permanent Secretary added that the contractor must be pursued by the law enforcers for him to complete the project because President Lungu’s government wants to ensure that the use of public funds benefits the people.
He commended the Chief for looking after the first Post Office in the country well which was looking modern and useful to-date.
The new PS also clarified that the differences between the contractors engaged on the Chienge road would soon be resolved so that works could start.
He also learned from the Chief’s affairs Officer (Cade Chikobo) that the contractor for the Chief’s Palace has been paid in full and works should not be delayed because Government has fully met its obligation to the project.
And the Chief said he was not happy with the pace of works for his new Palace because he was anxious to see the project completing on time so that he could shift into his new Palace.
Mr Chimbwali called for seriousness and required competencies in construction by the Contractor so that Government should not waste time and money on shoddy works which could become a danger to the Chief’s life adding that if there was need to change the contractor for the required output, it should be done without delay.
And Provincial Medical Officer Dr. Matthews Ng’ambi said for the 64 health Posts for Luapula, the completion target is next year 2016 and phase one for Mansa and Samfya have been done while for Chienge the sites had been identified and that contractors were mobilizing for phase one.
The Medical Officer assured the Chief that all the Health Posts will be completed and become operational by 2016.
Meanwhile, Provincial Agricultural Coordinator Godwin Chate disclosed that there was a 700 basal dressing fertilizer bags deficit for Chienge district because of the overwhelming demand for the commodity.