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Mwense Constituency: On the right track

THE first Zambia National Savings Bank (NATSAVE) Mwense branch under construction.

SITUATED in the heart of Luapula Province is Mwense Constituency which derives its name from the Mwense stream. The stream divides two constituencies which are Mwense and Mambilima.
Before Mwense Constituency was created in 1977, it was a sub-boma under Kawambwa district and has a population of 59,939.
Mwense Central Constituency borders with Mwansabombwe formerly known as Kawambwa in the North, newly created Chipili district to the East, Mambilima constituency, South and the Democratic Republic of Congo to the west.
The constituency also shares water bodies with the areas it borders with such as Mununshi stream where Mwansabombwe located, Mwense stream where Mambilima is located and the Luapula river which is also shared with neighbouring Congo DRC.
The constituency is under area Member of Parliament David Mabumba who has served from 2011 to date under the Patriotic Front (PF) and has a total number of 24,423 voters according to the 2010 census report.
The constituency has seven wards namely, Kasengu, Katiti, Chachacha, Kapela, Pebekalesa, Luche, Nkanga and Kaombe.
There are three major chiefdoms in Mwense Constituency namely, Kashiba, Lubunda and Lukwesa. The population is dominated by the Lunda speaking people while the Chishingas are mostly found in Chipili district.
ZESCO power, charcoal, Firewood and solar power system are the major source of energy used in the constituency.
The constituency also boasts of several achievements made in different sectors such as education, health, tourism, agriculture among others.
The constituency which does not provide tertiary education will soon do so once the construction of Mwense Trades Training Institute is complete. Works are ongoing and so far, classroom blocks, administrative block; hostels; library; workshops have been constructed.
There are two Secondary Schools namely Mwense Secondary School which is a boarding school, and Lukwesa day Secondary School. At the same time, two primary schools have been upgraded to secondary schools, these are Musangu and Mukumbwa. There are 23 Primary and community schools and one Missionary School managed by the Seventh day church in collaboration with Government.
Primary schools in the constituency are Mwense, Kankomba, Lubunda, Mubende, loto, Chembe, Mulonga, Koweni, Tente, Kapamba, Kapena, Sesa Chindoloma, Lukwesa, Musungampashi, Kasonge, Ponga, Kawama, Lwamfwe, Kaombe primary schools, community School are Nkulumashiba, Tondo, Nchilamundi and Kasengu.
Additional classroom blocks have been constructed at Chembe, Koweni, Kapena, Kasonge, Nkulumashiba, Ponga and Tondo schools. Staff houses have been also been constructed at Mukumbwa, Kapamba, Sesa chindoloma, Tente, Kankomba and Lwamfwe.
There is only one district Hospital under construction and seven rural health centres. The Hospital, Mwense District Hospital is currently under Phase three of construction.
According to Mwense District Community Medical officer Peter Bwalya, the total cost of constructing the hospital is K9 million.
Dr Bwalya said once the hospital is complete, it will improve health service delivery to the local people.
Further, out of the seven rural health centres, four rural health centres are being rehabilitated or extended using the Constituency Development fund (CDF). The health centres include Lubunda, Lukwesa, Mununshi clinic and Kawama clinic.
The funds that have been spent on improving the health centres are K90,000 on Lubunda health centre,
Lukwesa health centre has seen the construction of a maternity ward at a cost of K200,000, Bundebunde health centre has received K100,000 while Kawama health centre has been allocated K130,000.
Kamkomba Health Post is also under construction through the support of the Ministry of Health and is expected to be completed before the end of this year.
Mwense constituency has not been left out of the 650 health posts being constructed countrywide which will see the area benefit two health posts already under construction in Lwamfwe and Loto Villages.
Initially, people were focused on investing in fishing but over the years, fish stocks have been depleted. Peasant farmers have diversified and the major agriculture activities include cultivating maize, cassava, and ground nuts which people sell across Congo DR.
There is also a Palm plantation supported by the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock.The Palm plantation is conducted through the out grower scheme although it is still in its infant stage.
The plant is expected to be expanded once the private sector invest in the project.
The Luapula River is the major tourism attraction in Mwense Constituency. More investment is expected to be made on the natural waters to develop the sector through construction of hotels. This will be an added advantage as more people going to the Mutomboko traditional ceremony in Mwansabombwe can find accommodation in Mwense which is 17 km from the area.
Tourism will be further boosted once rehabilitation of Nakonde road leading to Mbala, Kasama Luwingu and Chipili and Kashiba is completed. It will be a shorter route to Nakonde through Mpika, Serenje, Kapiri Mposhi and Chililabombwe.
The major component of the road development sector in the constituency has been the 15 kilometers urban township roads to be tarred at a cost of K67 million. Road works are expected to be completed in 2016 out of the 20 Km of roads. The other major road in the constituency is the Mansa-Kashikishi road which was rehabilitated in 2011.
Just like any other constituency, it has many challenges residents would like to be addressed such as lack of a tertiary education, bad road network, low staffing levels in rural health centers, lack of jobs and clean drinking water.
Walker Mumba, a security guard at Mwense Trades Training Institute in an interview bemoaned the lack of jobs for the youths due to depletion of fish in the Luapula River which residents mainly depended on.
“More developmental projects should be brought here so that we can have jobs. In the past, fish trading was the major source of income for most youths but due to its depletion, most youths are roaming the streets,” Walker said.
He also cited water problems especially in Musangu village where villagers walk half a kilometre to access clean drinking water.
Peter Chewa also bemoaned poor road networks in most parts of the community and water challenges and lack of income generating activities for the youths.
And Mwense District Local court officer Amos Kafwimbi expressed the need to expedite the construction of the first ever local court to be completed.
“We have had no local court since time in memorial and this has resulted in having one court session per week. The subordinate court allocates us a day to use their premises. This has also resulted in a backlog of cases,” he said.
Their concerns are however not new to the area MP who is working tirelessly to meet the demands of the people.
Mr Mabumba said various developmental projects have been embarked on in all the sectors of the local economy such as the construction of a bank, construction of roads and secondary schools which are almost complete.
“Construction of Mwense Trades Training is a commitment to see local people access tertiary education, unlike currently where people have to travel to Mansa to obtain a higher education,” he said.
Mr Mabumba said the constituency has also seen the construction of the National Savings (NATSAVE) Bank, which is the first bank in the area. Once the Bank is complete, there will be no need to travel Mansa district for banking services.
Facts Sheet
-Mwense Member of Parliament David Mabumba is the seventh MP to serve under the constituency since 1968.
-Registered voters 24,423 according to the 2010 census
-Population, 59,939
-Since 1964, David Mabumba was the first Member of Parliament to have visited Nchilamundi village in the constituency which is considered to be the most remote village in the area.

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