Focus on Members of Parliament:
BUTTYSON KANDIMBA, Manyinga
LIKE many other rural constituencies in Zambia, Manyinga in North-Western Province is among the least developed areas in
With a population of about 51,000 people, Manyinga constituency, however, only has about 19,000 registered voters.
Politically, the district has nine wards, which form the Manyinga constituency with its member of Parliament Robert Lihefu, who won the seat on the United Party for National Development (UPND) ticket in last year’s general elections.
The wards found in the constituency are Kawanda, Loloma, Kashinakaji, Chiteve, Kaula, Chongo, Dihamba, Lwansongwa and Manyinga Central.
The constituency shares boundaries with Mufumbwe constituency in the east, Kabompo constituency in the west and Mwinilunga constituency in the north-west.
The major activity which drives the economy in the area is small-scale farming as well as timber harvesting, which sustains the livelihoods of many people in the area.
Some people in the constituency are also engaged in livestock farming through chicken, goat and cattle rearing.
However, despite the potential that lies in the constituency to grow the agriculture sector because of its arable fertile land, people have a challenge to access markets because of the bad road network, which is among the major problems people face.
This is why Government, with support of the World Bank, is currently constructing a multi-purpose dam in Manyinga constituency to boost agricultural activities through irrigation and fish farming.
Other than the road network, the constituency still has a challenge of inadequate schools, health centres and lack of mobile communication, especially in far flung areas.
In view of these challenges, Government has embarked on a number of developmental projects to improve the living standards of people.
Government has since connected the area to the national electricity grid to attract investors into the constituency in various sectors of the economy.
The development has also seen a number of schools and health centres get connected to power supply, which has helped improve service delivery.
And with only seven secondary schools, 32 primary schools and 15 community schools, it is clear children people in the constituency are facing a challenge to access quality education but Government has upgraded a number of primary schools into secondary schools to enhance access to secondary education.
The constituency, although boasts of a hospital at Loloma Mission, only has nine rural health centres to carter for the population.
Government has allocated six health posts for Manyinga constituency out of the 650 to be built countrywide.
Other projects currently being implemented in the constituency include, the construction of various public infrastructure such as a modern police station, modern post office, 32 housing units for civil servants, a civic centre and the district administration block.
To supplement government efforts, a number of projects are also being implemented using the Constituency Development Fund such as the construction of classroom blocks and staff houses, among others.
However, despite the many challenges people in this rural constituency face, member of Parliament Robert Lihefu seems to be equal to the task to address them and to ensure that development is realised in the area.
Mr Lihefu, a prominent businessman, despite his busy schedule to attend to his businesses in Manyinga and Mufumbwe districts, says he saw it fit to stand as member of Parliament because he has a passion to serve people.
“I am ready to serve the people of Manyinga constituency and I want to work with everyone here to ensure that we develop Manyinga all of us because I cannot work alone,” Mr Lihefu said.
He said he intends to implement a number of projects across the constituency before his term expires in 2021.
Mr Lihefu said with the release of K700,000 constituency development fund to his constituency by Government, he has allocated money to various projects that had stalled for a long time in the area.
He said among the projects that have been funded using this year’s CDF include the construction of a classroom block at New Loloma Day Secondary School, refurbishment of the theatre room at Loloma Mission Hospital and completion of a classroom block at Kaula Primary School.
Mr Lihefu also said part of the funds will be used to rehabilitate the Chongo-Chifuwe road, which leads to a farm-block to enable farmers easily access markets.
And because of pressing needs, the lawmaker has resorted to dipping into his pockets to address some of the problems affecting people in his area.
“I am going to use my resources to support various government departments that are struggling to build infrastructure like I have done at Ndunga, where I used my personal resources to rehabilitate a bridge and I am also rehabilitating the building, which is currently being used as a police station in Manyinga,” he said.
Mr Lihefu also said plans are underway to start constructing a modern market in the district using the CDF to support small-scale traders, especially women, to generate income and support their families.
The lawmaker has since pledged to work with Government in power to accelerate development in the constituency.
“There is nothing that I can do alone, so I want to work with the government so that we deliver development to my constituency and I think that is what people are looking for from me,” Mr Lihefu said.
He has since called on the people in the constituency to support him as he continues to lobby for development from the government by embracing all the development ideas and programmes being initiated in the constituency.