CHRISTINE CHISHA, Chipata
CHIPANGALI Constituency is the biggest of the four constituencies in Chipata District of Eastern Province with six wards.
The far-off and massive constituency, share borders with Chipata central, Kasenengwa, Malambo and Lumezi constituencies.
Statistically, Chipangali has 122,916 inhabitants according to the 2010 national census and has been under the leadership of the youthful, ambitious and vibrant member of Parliament (MP) Vincent Mwale since 2006.
Mr Mwale seems to be a darling of the people of Chipangali who are not shy to express their love for him and at the same time fires warning shots at the area MP to pull up his socks in fulfilling campaign promises.
â€œWe have seen development in the health, education, and the road sector since Mr Mwale was voted into power. He is also a very approachable MP who gives an ear to every person even those who belong to other political parties.
â€œThe biggest problem we have in this area is access to clean and safe water. If only Mr Mwale could ensure that more boreholes are drilled in the area, it will help to keep at bay water-borne disease,â€ said Grace Mbewe a marketeer.
She said the wells dug in the villages are almost drying up due to poor rains.
Mrs Mbewe said during the 2011 campaign, Mr Mwale promised that during his tenure, he would ensure that the people of Chipangali have access to clean and safe water.
Mr Mwale who is also Minister of Youth and Sports agreed with his constituents that the issue of access to clean and safe water is a thorny topic in Chipangali Constituency.
He said this prompted the committee that look at the Constituency Development Fund (CDF) to get the entire K1.3 million CDF allocation for 2013 to procure and purchase a borehole drilling machine though procurement processes have delayed the equipment from reaching the country.
Mr Mwale said the procurement team from the council in Chipata are in contact with the company selling the machine and from the information the equipment has reached tTanzaniaâ€™s port of Dar es Salaam.
He said giving the people of Chipangali clean and safe water will be his biggest achievement and will make him happy as MP.
â€œOnce the drilling machine is in, every village in the constituency will have a borehole and in this yearâ€™s CDF budget some money has been allocated to buy water pipes,â€ Mr Mwale said.
While the women are crying for clean and safe water, the youths want training skills in various fields.
Ephraim Phiri appealed to the area MP to ensure that a skills training institute is constructed in the area.
He said while they are aware that Chipangali is a village, short training in skills such as carpentry, bricklaying and plumbing will add value to their lives as they will be able to start income generating projects.
â€œMost youths when they complete school or drop out have little to do. Most of them venture in farming; I feel having training skills will broaden the scope of business in the constituency unlike the situation now where residents have to travel to Chipata town to buy things,â€ he said.
Mr Phiri also appealed to the MP to send officers from Ministry of Youth and Sports who could guide youths on how they can go about accessing the youth development fund (YDF).
â€œWe have the forms for the youth development fund but how to write a proposal is our biggest challenge,â€ he said.
To Catherine Phiri the presence of the area MP is cardinal in the constituency. â€œWe rarely see our MP, we need him in Chipangali especially when we are having zonal constituency meetings.
â€œWe appreciate the many development projects going on in the constituency, under Mr Mwaleâ€™s leadership we have the first secondary school called Eastern Girls Technical School, electrification of some areas and a number of roads rehabilitated,â€ she said.
Mr Mwale said he appreciates the demands of his constituents to visit them regularly and soon he will travel to Chipangali to interact with his people.
And a spot check in the six wards namely Kasenga, Musandile, Ntope, Sisinje, Lukuzye and Chipangali revealed many developmental projects dating way back to 2007.
Mr Mwaleâ€™s professional assistant Bupe Mudolo said in the road sector many roads have been rehabilitated such as the eight-kilometre Kapasa road which goes via Chamanda; the nine-kilometre Vizenge road; Mgwazo, Mgubudu and Kambani roads to mention a few .
In the education sector a number of schools have been rehabilitated and constructed. Chiziye School will soon be upgraded into a secondary school and land has been secured to construct a day secondary school and contractors will soon move on site.
Under the CDF, community schools such as Mchanga, Ngwanda, Mnukwa, Vikwelu-kwelu, and Kamzira have received additional classroom blocks.
Schools such as Changoma, Chakoloma, and Ngozi received additional classes while Kidula, Madzi and Munduwi schools were roofed. A staff house was constructed at Chanyumba school while Saint Margret Girls High School has been electrified.
In the health sector a number of health posts have been constructed namely Chimwala Chinunda, Mbenjele, Mphawa and Kazembe. A maternity wing and motherâ€™ shelter have been constructed at Mgubudu and construction of two staff houses at Mbenjele rural health post have been completed.
In the water sector, boreholes have been drilled in Meki, Tazwela, Mtolo and Kafe villages.
Other projects undertaken using the CDF are the construction of toilets at Chitandika market, rehabilitation of Mgubudu police post and completion of Chief Chanje palace guest house.
Despite the many developmental projects he has spearheaded, Mr Mwale said he will seek the people of Chipangaliâ€™s permission before re-contesting the seat.
He said, â€œIâ€™m a man who respects the wish of the people. Their decision matters.I will consult them before deciding to re-contestâ€.