NKOMBO KACHEMBA, Kitwe
AFTER accomplishing their task of ushering into office their preferred parliamentary candidate, the people of Kitwe’s Chimwemwe constituency are now anxiously waiting for their lawmaker to deliver on the
campaign promises made prior to the 2016 general elections.
The Chimwemwe constituency representative, Mwila Mutale, an independent candidate, got 14,695 votes to beat his closest rival Mr Mwenya Musenge, who got 9,111 votes.
Chimwemwe is one of the densely-populated constituencies on the Copperbelt with a population of about 116, 138 people living in 22, 351 households.
It is the only constituency in Kitwe where one can find chain stores such as Shoprite and now Choppies.
Chimwemwe is one of the fastest growing constituencies with townships which have an explosive population.
However, the increase in population has come with its own challenges as the facilities that are in the area cannot meet the demand by the residents.
The constituency has inadequate secondary schools and clinics to service the huge population.
Chimwemwe has 13 government schools out of which only three offer higher education.
Pupils travel long distances to neighbouring constituencies to access secondary education.
Another challenge that the constituency is facing is the high unemployment levels among the youths, who have now resorted to forming gangs that terrorise the residents.
The constituency, however, has one of the finest road networks as most of the township roads are tarred and without potholes.
It is also in Chimwemwe where Government is building the Mukuba University, which offers teaching courses in mathematics and science.
The Chimwemwe lawmaker is aware of the challenges that the people in the area are facing and is determined to fulfil the promises he made to the residents during campaigns.
“My first task on the agenda is to ensure that the constituency has adequate secondary schools. At the moment, we only have three secondary schools and pupils usually drop out of school due to lack of classroom space at secondary level,” Mr Mutale said.
He said plans are underway to upgrade Garneton and Twatasha primary schools into secondary schools, where one by three classroom blocks will be built.
Mr Mutale said the lack of more secondary schools in the area has resulted in children opting to drop out of school and engage in illicit activities.
On his part, he has engaged Kitwe City Council (KCC) on the possibilities of allocating pieces of land to marketeers trading at the old-Nakadoli market, to build permanent structures.
He said this will help to prevent fire outbreaks that are prone at the market, which has several makeshift stores.
Mr Mutale also bemoaned the lack of toilets in some markets in his constituency and promised to work with the local people to improve sanitation in trading places.
He is also working to ensure that works on the upgrade of Chimwemwe Clinic into a mini-hospital are completed on time.
Government is upgrading Chimwemwe Clinic into a mini-hospital and so far a maternity wing has been built at a cost of K1.6 million.
Works on the phase two of the project, which include a theatre and x-ray block, being built at a cost of K2 million have started and are progressing well.
“Once Chimwemwe clinic becomes a fully-fledged mini-hospital, it will help to decongest the health centres in the area, which are usually crowded with patients,” Mr Mutale said.
The Chimwemwe lawmaker has also submitted a total of 22 kilometres of roads he feels should be rehabilitated under the C400 road project to the Road Development Agency (RDA).
He, however, said the contractor, who was working on the drainages on the newly constructed township roads did not do a good job as the structures have been washed away by heavy rains.
A police station has also been opened in Kawama Township, where government has built staff houses for the police officers.
Mr Mutale is hopeful that with the opening of Kawama Police Station, crime in the area will drastically reduce.
He said he will also work with the Chinese community in Garnetone residential to see how best security can be improved, where there are rampant reports of house break-ins.
Mr Mutale is also interested in seeing works on the students’ hostels, lecture theatres, classrooms and a library at Mukuba University complete.
The lawmaker said part of the land for the university is in the forest reserve and that there is need to degazette it to pave way for the expansion of infrastructure at the higher learning institution.
Mr Mutale has also called for unity in his constituency, which is divided due to political reasons.
“As an independent member of Parliament, I work well with the councillors but the problem is with the ward chairpersons, who seem not to be supportive of my ideas,” he said.
Despite the setbacks, Mr Mutale is determined to fulfil the promises he made to the electorate in Chimwemwe and thanked them for the unwavering support during the elections.
Mr Mutale recalls how challenging it was to secure police permits to hold political rallies prior to the 2016 general elections because of being an independent candidate.
He only managed to hold one rally during the campaigns but garnered massive support from the electorate.
Mr Mutale’s political career stems from the year 2010 when he stood as chairperson on the PF ticket for Chimwemwe constituency and won the seat.
He was later elected as Lubuto ward councillor and PF constituency youth chairperson in 2012 but resigned to stand as an independent parliamentary candidate for Chimwemwe.
During the campaigns, Mr Mutale’s symbol was an umbrella, which he says is a sign for shelter empowerment for the people of Chimwemwe.
Mr Mwila was born in Kasama in the Northern Province and started school in 1982 at Mbabala Primary School on an island on Lake Bangweulu.
In 1989, he went to St. Clement Secondary school in Mansa to pursue his secondary education.
He later went to the Copperbelt University (CBU) to pursue a Bachelors of Science Degree in Production Management.
Mr Mutale is married to Endrica Chabala and they have four children, Mpundu, Jean, Emmanuel and Elias Mutale Mwila Jr.