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Kabwe in safe hands?

THE Bemba saying Imiti iyikula empanga, meaning the youths of today are the future of tomorrow, is indeed a reality. Therefore, the youth must take up the responsibility of leadership with much focus.
On August 11, 2016, the people of Kabwe chose youths through polls to take over the leadership of the town and I have no doubt that these youths won’t rest until they execute what the people want. When I say people, I mean all ages, the old, young, educated and uneducated.
These young and vibrant minds include Prince Chileshe, who was elected as mayor, Tutwa Ngulube, who was elected member of Parliament for Kabwe Central, and Sydney Mushanga, who retained his Bwacha constituency seat. The three understand the sufferings of the people of Kabwe, especially that of the youths. To do that, these youthful leaders will need to draw up a winning strategy for the town.
The three were elected on Patriotic Front (PF) tickets, hence they are expected to deliver in accordance with the party’s manifesto and promises. Government has in the past five years embarked on several projects in the town and it is the duty of the new leadership to continue from where the predecessors left off. Having been re-elected, I’m sure honourable Mushanga will definitely know where to continue from, and prove his critics wrong. I’m confident he would show why the people retained him as their lawmaker.
Kabwe has in the past suffered from poor leadership. The town has seen leaders who would be voted today and relocate to the capital city tomorrow only to come back five years later to ask for votes. As for this crop of young leaders, I’m sure the best will come out of the town though the task won’t be easy for them.
In Kabwe Central, I expect lawyer Tutwa Ngulube to deliver, as he had shown his love for the town before he was even voted for when he engaged in the financing of women and youth clubs, helped in the repair of roads, and sponsored pupils and students who were dropping out of school.
In Bwacha constituency, I have no doubt Sydney Mushanga will tie up the loose ends from where he ended his previous mandate. In the last five years, we saw the building of more schools, clinics and repairing of roads and street lighting in the area, but it shouldn’t end at that.
In the mayoral seat, I expect Prince Chileshe to control and maintain good and smooth operations of the council and other related firms in Kabwe and ensure that all stakeholders take part in developing the town. A mayor is the father of the town, hence he should create a good rapport between himself and different stakeholders in the city. Regardless of the status of mayor, he should be on the ground to get proper feedback from the residents.
Kabwe is the provincial capital of Central Province, with a population estimated at 202,914, according to the 2010 census. I urge the newly elected leaders to plan activities that will stand the test of time.
I, therefore, wish to see a Kabwe with reduced poverty and unemployment levels among many people who have been surviving on meagre incomes through various survival skills. I’m hopeful with the current leadership that will certainly be a reality. This new crop of leaders should focus on creating employment and setting up recreational facilities within the town, where people could spend time rather than beer halls. Youths should get involved in the running of the town’s affairs, as this will engender a sense of belonging amongst the people.
On July 23, 2016, the President of the Republic Of Zambia, His Excellency Edgar Chagwa Lungu, commissioned the construction of the first-ever multi-million dollar Kabwe shopping mall project at a total cost of US$20 million, to be built by Heriot Properties Limited, a South Africa-based company.
The shopping mall will sit on an eight-hectare land, next to Mulungushi Textiles Joint Venture Limited, and is expected to create about 1,100 jobs for the locals. It will be a good platform to reduce poverty and unemployment levels among many people in Kabwe.
It is anticipated that with increased economic activity in the town, there will be an economic boost. Therefore, during this transition, the people of Kabwe will require proper representation in Parliament. Remember, you are elected to represent the people of Kabwe, hence a lot is expected from you.
I, therefore, advise and urge all the leaders that have been given the responsibility to rule in various positions to do so with grace and humility. Let them do the best at all times for the citizens of this country. Let them listen to the people who put them in power.
The author is a Sub-editor at Zambia Daily Mail.