They’ve misled, deceived the people


    Patrick Mucheleka says it is an absurdity that the northern circuit that Patriotic Front politicians want to portray as their foothold is pervasively poor.

    Mucheleka has a point. Luapula Province, with 81.1 per cent poverty levels, is the second poorest in Zambia after Western Province which has poverty levels of 82.2 per cent. Northern Province is the third poorest province at 79.7 per cent and Muchinga Province the fifth at 69.3 per cent.

    Mucheleka says except for few emergent infrastructures in Muchinga Province’s headquarters, Chinsali, Luapula and Northern provinces are embarrassingly underdeveloped.

    Mucheleka says poverty is so entrenched in the northern circuit and that the people who had ‘created’ that environment were those from the northern circuit because “they have stolen from the people”.

    “Go to Kasama and the entire Northern Province, go to Muchinga, go to Luapula; three quarters of the ministers and permanent secretaries in the last 10 years are all from Muchinga, Northern and Luapula provinces. But does that not prompt you to ask a question how poverty in those provinces is so pervasive when these fellows who are in charge of the system come from there?” asks Mucheleka. “Apart from the period that Margaret Mwanakatwe was finance minister, the rest (Alexander Bwalya Chikwanda, Felix Mutati and Dr Bwalya Ng’andu) who have been in charge of that ministry, during the PF reign, are Bembas. Have they even put up one single industry for our people in the northern circuit to get jobs? Nothing! The money they have acquired has just been put in New Kasama in Lusaka. They have created New Kasama to ensure that they have nothing to do with Kasama in Northern Province. These ministers and permanent secretaries from the northern circuit have taken their money in New Kasama where they are building mansions for themselves and their children. I want to challenge the Bemba politicians, Bwalya Ng’andu, Mutati, Alexander Chikwanda, [Christopher] Yaluma, to tell us what property they have put up in Northern Province.”

    Many people in Southern, Western and North Western provinces have been misled by dishonest politicians and tribalists into believing that their Bemba speaking brothers and sisters are better off than them. But look at the statistics and contrast! North-Western Province has poverty levels 66.4 per cent and Southern Province 57.6 per cent.

    And indeed they have enriched themselves from holding public offices but have done nothing in the areas they claim to be their strongholds. They simply don’t care. The projects Michael Sata started before he died, stopped with his death. Even the personal projects of Dr Fred M’membe at his Mwika Royal Village have been stopped by them. They have misled and deceived the people.


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