Columnists Features

Mung’andu sees light for Chama South

CHAMA-SOUTH member of Parliament (MP) Davison Mung’andu is a dynamic, focused and selfless man who will not allow the bad terrain in his constituency to discourage him from taking development there.
Mr Mung’andu joined politics when he was in the third year at the Copperbelt University. He was among the first students to join the Patriotic Front (PF) when it was formed.
He was the first vice president of the PF branch at the Copperbelt University. “My politics started from CBU and as a young man I learnt a lot from grassroots politics and how to work with the community to develop the area.”
Mr Mung’andu’s political career has been motivated by the harassment that late President Michael Sata and President Edgar Lungu went through.
He said having worked with the two presidents in the party and other senior PF officials and seen how they withstood harassment and victimisation; he believes not only unpassable roads and human-animal conflict can hinder him from taking development to Chama- South.
The constituency is located in the Luangwa Rift Valley, about 100 kilometres from Chama district and is undoubtedly the largest but also one of the least developed constituencies in Muchinga Province.
Most of the roads are impassable during the rainy season, and also require hours of hard four-wheel drive travel to access most of the place but this remains Mr Mung’andu’s motivation.
“I belong to a party that believes in uplifting the standard of the people on the grassroots. I believe by working with the people in all the wards, we will develop Chama-South.
“My confidence is also drawn on how we fought hard with the former MP Effron Lungu to win a seat under the PF for the first time in Eastern Province in 2011,” he said.
Today Chama-South is part of Muchinga Province though most people live closer to the Malawi border.
Mr Mung’andu says with the help of God, he is hoping the ten wards will see development and have, especially schools, connected to the national grid before his five year tenure collapses.
“The roads in the constituency at the moment are impassable, from Chama central business district to Mapamba road, the road is impassable and I cannot visit half the constituency, I want to ensure the road is worked on,” he said.
Another critical area the MP wants is to have communication towers erected in the area. He said once he reaches his constituency, he is cut off and cannot communicate.
The MP wants to see that Chama-South should be linked to the rest of the country and the world by putting up communication towers are erected in all the points particularly in all the three chiefdoms.
He said it is depressing that 53 years after independence the area has remained under-developed and teachers shun it because they cannot communicate with the rest of the world.
In the area of water, the MP said in the dry season a number of women walk long distances to fetch water.
With the bad terrain, the only solution to the water crisis Chama-South is facing, Mr Mung’andu believes, is to construct a dam because boreholes during the dry season dry up.
Chama-South is situated in the game reserve management; animal-human conflict is almost the order of the day with animals constantly destroying crops.
The law maker wants to ensure that Wildlife officers safeguard people’s crops. He has been talking to the game rangers because the farmers are committed to revamping of the agriculture sector.
“The farmers in Chama- South grow a lot of rice, and we are happy that government has put agriculture at the centre of development and I work with farmers to help with value addition to the rice produced in my area,” he said.
The MP has been working with farmers to form co-operatives so that they can acquire machinery to help with higher production of rice.
He believes agriculture will be a big source of income and create jobs in his constituency.
Mr Mung’andu, however, appealed to the Disaster Management and Mitigation Unit (DMMU) to send relief food in his area because some people are facing hunger from last farming season.
In the area of health, Mr Mung’andu it is sad that the constituency has few personnel and most clinics are manned by environmental health specialists and nurses.
He said the area is in dire need of clinical officers.
The MP is also working in collaboration with the Ministry of General Education to lobby for more classroom blocks and teachers.
He said the teacher–pupil ratio is too high as some classes have 120 pupils to one teacher.
In tourism, the MP is proud that Chama-South is home to the white rhino breeding and encompasses 80 percent of North Luangwa National Park.
He said, “We have abundant wildlife and under my tenure will ensure that the local people benefit from the Safari companies operating in the area. The safari companies should embark on corporate social responsibility so that the local people could benefit.”
Mr Mung’andu has also embarked on a program to promote eco-tourism in his constituency and will not allow exploitation of the area.
The MP is also on a campaign to talk to traditional leaders to stop giving huge tracts of land to foreigners but give priority to the local people and Zambians.
He believes Chama- South has huge potential to develop and contribute to the economic development through agriculture and tourism.
The law maker is also concerned about the number of girls dropping out of school to get married in the area where polygamy is also rampant.
He said early marriage, polygamy and teen pregnancies contribute to high poverty levels in his constituency.
“I come from a polygamous marriage and I know what it can do. I will work with stakeholders to sensitive about the dangers of polygamy and bring it to an end. It’s unacceptable to see men at this age having more than three wives,” he said.
Mr Mung’andu is married to Sarah Buswasi with whom he has six children, four boys and two girls. He is a Christian with Kingdom Business Ministry and wishes to serve Chama- South for more than ten years.
He is inspired politically by President Lungu, whom he described as a humble leader with a big heart and a desire to see that Zambia is developed.

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