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Mangango constituency in search of leader

CAROL Nyumbu, 45, is a resident of Kaoma, in Mangango constituency, but she has witnessed a total of six elections.
She is not happy that none of the leaders have brought about meaningful development to the area.
Nyumbu’s concern for lack of development in this rural constituency is seen by how most people walk long distances to fetch clean drinking water.
Nyumbu, a trader, says there are a few hand pumps which are shared, with some families walking long distances to access water.
Most schoolchildren also walk long distances to access a school while roads, including the one leading to Lukulu, are a nightmare.
She also says the people in the area, who are farmers have no market for their product as the road to Kaoma is in a deplorable state.
A by-election has become imminent in Mangango following the death of Naluwa Mweene on August 28 at the Itezhi Tezhi turn-off on the Mongu-Lusaka road.
She now wonders whether the constituency will see some development when a new Member of Parliament emerges victorious after the November 20 by-election.
The Mangango by-election has attracted four political parties which are; the United Prosperous and Peaceful Zambia (UPPZ), United Party for National Development (UPND), National Democratic Congress (NDC) and the Patriotic Front (PF).
UPPZ and PF have given the mantles to youthful candidates, Chingumbe Kabindama, 33 and Godwin Putu, 41, respectively.
The NDC and UPND have thrown their weight behind veterans Yuvwenu Kashandola, 61, and Mwendoi Akakandelwa, 60, respectively.
The four candidates successfully filed their nomination before returning officer Chipanga Musangu, early this week at Mangango primary school, during a process that was violence free.
Mangango Constituency is situated in the outskirt of Kaoma district and has seven wards with 33 polling stations and over 15, 000 registered voters.
Some of the past members of Parliament for the area are Chrispin Shumina, Rodgers Lingweshi, Taundi Chiseke and Mr Mweene.
Voters in Mangango have almost a month to assimilate the messages that the four candidate have for them.
With the battle lines are drawn, the candidates are all confident of emerging victors and the onus is be on the voters to pick a person who will bring them development.
As the youngest candidate in this election, Kabindama, 33, a peasant farmer believes he has the support of the young people who are the majority voters.
Kabindama says he also enjoys massive support as he is an indigenous who understands the problems the people faced.
He says his first task once elected on November 20, will be to address access to clean drinking water.
Kabinda also says that the health sector is another area that he will tackle, as the area only has one mission hospital with a large catchment area.
He says he is not bothered by the veterans who are in the race as he is a firm believer of miracles.
“This is my first political race and am not intimidated because I’m a firm believer of miracles. Besides, I do not fear challenges because I know I have what it takes and the local people are behind me as they have seen me grow,” he says.
Mr Putu is not a new name in Mangango as he once contested for the same seat in the 2014 by-election which he lost to then PF candidate Rogers Lingweshi.
The forty-one year old candidate who was picked from the 10 candidates applicants says he will this time around carry the day as he has learnt from past mistakes.
He says he is the change the people of Mangango need, and his victory will signal the transformation of the constituency.
Mr Putu has pledged not to disappoint the party that has given him chance to run for this election.
He says once elected, he will work closely with he the government of President Edgar Lungu, to bring development to the area.
‘’People here know me very well and they know what I’m capable of doing. We are ready for this election and we will not disappoint the appointing authority,’’ he says.
Mr Kashandola is a former councillor in the area who also served as Nkeyema district commissioner.
As a veteran politician, Kashondola brings to the table his vast experience in leadership and hopes the people will rely on his experience to send him to Parliament.
Kashandola, a farmer, says he will advocate for a good road network for farmers to take their produce to the market.
He also feels that farmers in the area are getting a raw deal for their efforts as most of the farm produce goes to waste due to poor road network.
‘‘My main interest is agriculture because once the sector booms, then you expect development in these other areas,’’ he says.
Mr Kashandola is the first candidate to contest at Parliamentary level since the party was formed.
As a former MP for Mangango, Mr Akakandelwa, says he has decided to come back, in order to continue where he left from.
Mr Akakandelwa who served as MP from 2006-2011 under the Movement of the Multi-Party Democracy (MMD) says the problems that the people in the area are faced with, have forced him to come back.
He says he has an upper hand in this election as his track record when he was MP is there for all to see.
Mr Akakandelwa, however, confesses that he faces an uphill battle.
‘’The race is competitive but I will emerge victorious because I already set a record when I was MP for this area,’’ he says.
The candidate says once elected, he will work hand in hand with the community to address their areas of need.
He says his approach will be to engage the residents before any project is undertaken as the community owns the projects.