Development Features

Kabwe Central: Heart of province seeking economic growth

CONSTITUENCY WATCH CHAMBO NG’UNI, Kabwe
KABWE Central Constituency can be said to be the heart of Central Province’s capital because it hosts most of the vital infrastructure.
Unlike Bwacha Constituency, Kabwe Central Constituency hosts the provincial and district administrations, the central business district (CBD), Civic Centre, Zambia Railways Limited headquarters, Zambia Prisons Service headquarters, Post Office, Kabwe General Hospital, Kabwe Mine Hospital, Chidwin and Korhima barracks.
That is not all, all the banks, Zambia China Mulungushi Textile Joint Venture (ZCMT-JV), the closed mine, Kwame Nkrumah University, Mulungushi University town campus, Chainama College of Health Sciences Kabwe campus are located in the constituency.
Despite this being the case, Kabwe and Bwacha constituencies are, however, interdependent because the two make up Kabwe district.
According to the Central Statistics 2010 census of population and housing the constituency has a population of 118,638 (61,215 are females and 57, 424 are males) spread across 12 wards.
Chirwa ward has the highest population of 26,987, followed by Laungwa and Kaputula wards with 16,005 and 13,084 respectively. Luansase ward has the lowest population of 3,004.
James Kapyanga whose term started in 2011 and expected to end in 2016 is the first Patriotic Front (PF) member of Parliament in the constituency.
Mr Namongo Chilomo says the election of the PF and Mr Kapyanga who is also deputy Minister of Transport and Communications brought hope to the people in the constituency as development had stagnated.
Mr Chilomo says there are changes in different areas, but the people feel that Mr Kapyanga can do more.
“We don’t have problems of water anymore but we still have bad roads and we feel that the MP should do more to ensure that we have better roads,” Mr Chilomo said.
Mr Chilomo of Chirwa ward also says the constituency faces the challenge of unemployment, as a result, many youths are struggling to earn a living.
Mr Chilomo who called for improvement of security in Chirwa ward says people are saddened that Zambia China Mulungushi Textiles and mines have not been opened.
“If Zambia China Mulungushi Textiles is not opening then we need other industries because our youths don’t have jobs,” Mr Chilomo said.
Another resident, Evans Chibale says people in the constituency are happy that roads in the CBD have been tarred but said people expect their MP to do a lot more.
Mr Chibale, a taxi driver said the road network needs to be improved along with the drainage system.
Mr Chibale said: “We have seen roads being worked on (tarred) in town centre but roads in our townships are still in bad state.”
According to him, development should also reach shanty townships like other residential areas near the CBD.
Mr Kapyanga is, however, elated that the PF government has rehabilitated and upgraded selected township roads in the constituency.
Among the roads that have been tarred under a stretch of about 25km are Freedom Way, Buntungwa, Katebe Chilufya, Second Avenue, Munkoyo, Lusito and Chilubi Island dual carriage way.
Luangwa Avenue, Mine Plant Road, Uganda Avenue, President Drive, National Way, Egypt Avenue, Godetia Street and Holly Street are also among the roads that Asphalt Zambia Limited (ARZ) has worked on.
“This has lifted the image of Kabwe as many roads were in bad condition. Other roads are also being worked on,” Mr Kapyanga said, adding that more roads are earmarked for rehabilitation.
And Central Province permanent secretary Edwidge Mutale says the Road Development Agency has started periodic maintenance of the 30km stretch on the Great North Road (T2) between Kabwe and Chibombo at a cost of over K169 million.
This means that Independence Avenue which is on Great North Road will be rehabilitated and a stretch of 1 km will be expanded into four lanes starting from the level crossing towards Chobimbo.
The Kabwe Municipal Council (KMC) has also worked on street lights in the CBD.
A one by three classroom block is under construction at Mulungushi Primary School and at Chidwin A Secondary School while at Kasanda Malombe Basic School, laboratories are being constructed.
New health centres in Luansase, Waya, and Kalonga wards are also under construction.
Two police posts are also under construction in Luansase and Makandanyama areas,
As part of increasing the number of clinical officers in Zambia, Government in partnership with the USA government in May this year opened Chainama College of Health Sciences Kabwe campus at a cost of K5 million.
The college located in Highridge Township is under Lusaka’s Chainama College of Health Sciences and has enrolled the first intake of 60 students.
Mr Kapyanga also said the Ministry of Local Government and Housing has engaged Bellview Construction Limited to rehabilitate and extend the old bus stations at Town Centre market at a cost of K1,566,739.76.
The project which was initially expected to cost K1.9 million will now cost more due to kwacha depreciation.
Mr Kapyanga is, however, optimistic that the contractor will speed up the works as Kabwe is in dire need of a bus station. The project is expected to take 19 weeks to complete.
The parliamentarian is also happy that the first ever shopping mall is earmarked for construction in his constituency. This facility will be developed by Heriot Property Development Limited of South Africa.
Mr Kapyanga says the proposed site for construction of the shopping mall is opposite ZCMT-JV along the Great North Road.
“This will be one of the biggest shopping malls and discussions are progressing well with Heriot Property Development Limited. These are the ones who constructed Kafubu Mall (Ndola) and Mukuba (Kitwe),” an elated Mr Kapyanga said.
He said the shopping mall will create jobs, add value to the local economy and boost infrastructure development.
“We are confident that if a mall in Kabwe is constructed it will provide ultra-modern facilities” Mr Kapyanga said.
Mr Kapyanga also bemoaned the high levels of unemployment in the constituency. The problem, he says, has been exacerbated by the closure of Kabwe Mine, ZCMT-JV and other companies.
Mr Kapyanga says the reopening of ZCMT-JV, the closed mine and other companies, and investment inflows in other areas will help in creating jobs.
“We also need to revisit some announcements which were made in the past such as declaring Kabwe a tax free zone area because this can also be one way of attracting investments here in Kabwe,” Mr Kapyanga says.
WOMEN EMPOWERMENT
As part of promoting development, fighting poverty and improving the wellbeing of women and families, Mr Kapyanga said he has prioritised the empowerment of women involved in different business ventures in the constituency.
According to Mr Kapyanga, last year seven women clubs received K2,000 each from the Constituency Development Fund. The clubs that benefited are Doca Women’s Club, Tukiya’s Club, Kabangwe Women’s Club, Chabota Women’s Club, Apatebeta Lesa Women’s Club, Capable Women’s Club and Highridge Women’s Club.
Mr Kapyanga is happy that he is the first PF MP for Kabwe Central Constituency.
Mr Kapyanga says he is in office to serve the people and that he has a responsibility of ensuring that the PF delivers on its campaign promises.
“As an MP, I am working for the people in my constituency because it is because of them that I am in Parliament,” Mr Kapyanga says.
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Previous MPs
1981-1991 late Wilfred Wonani(UNIP)
1991 to 1996 late Paul Tembo (MMD)
1996 to 2000 Austin Chewe (Independent)
2001 to 2006 Patrick Musonda (Heritage)
2006 to 2011 Kayula Kakusa (MMD)

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