Columnists Features

Sinazongwe eager to see investment

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SINAZONGWE district in Southern Province lies north of Lake Kariba.
The district is fast growing into a commercial area with a population of 101,617, according to the 2010 census.

Agriculture and fishing activities are the mainstay of the district. The lake, which is one of the biggest man-made lakes in the world, is the centre of the fishing activities.

The district has a total of 59,544 registered voters.
UPND candidate Gift Sialubalo scooped the seat with 34,397 votes, beating there other candidates from different political parties.
Speaking in an interview, Mr Sialubalo, a Chingola, based businessman who was born and bred in Sinazongwe is optimistic that working in collaboration with line ministries and teaming up with the community will foster development in Sinanzongwe.
Mr Sialubalo worked at the Ministry of Communication and Transport from 1993 to 2007, when he was retired in national interest during transformantion of the Road Transport Commission to Road Transport Safety Agency (RTSA).
With his retirement package, Mr Sialubalo set his mind in 2007 on business as a transporter.
“I will never forget where I come from, I will continue giving back to the community, from the proceeds I make in my businesses,” he says.
However, he is aware that the challenges facing his constituency cannot be overcome in a single day.
Among the challenges is the bad road network.
Though works on the Bottom Road have stalled for some time, however, Mr Sialubalo is hopeful that Government will revisit the project which he said is the ‘life blood’ of the district.
“About 14 kilometres from Sinazeze to Sinazogwe boma which was being upgraded to bituminous standard, works stopped. It has been close to a year,” he says.
Another, project is the incomplete is a secondary school which stands up to window level. Construction of the school, situated on Sinazeze -Sinazongwe road, began during the MMD administration.
The five health posts allocated to the district under the 650 health posts project by Government are also yet to be completed.
The construction of a market shelter in Sinazeze has also stalled.
Mr Sialubalo has expressed concern that Government is spending a lot of money on developmental project which when completed will uplift the living standard of the people in the district.
The MP has urged the government to ensure that various projects are completed.
He also says once the Constituency Development Funds are released, some of them will be channelled towards the completion of the facilities in the health and education sectors.
Despite, other projects stalling, Sinozongwe 14 wards will have boreholes sunk with the help of Column Coal mine.
He says the company has pledged to donate a tipper truck to help in the collection of garbage in Maamba township.
“The company has gone further to contribute K86,000 for the construction of girls’ dormitories at Nkandabwe Secondary School.
“The school has no girls’ dormitories, we want to protect our girl children from unwanted pregnancies,” he says.
With concerted effort, Sinazongwe district has acquired a grader at a cost of US$120,000 to work on feeder roads and help improve the transportation of farm produce by small-scale farmers to the markets.
The district is endowed with coal and due to this, over a hundred households in Sinazongwe are being relocated to pave way for the construction of a multi-million United States dollar thermal coal plant.
Mr Sialubalo, who is an accountant by profession said the affected people negotiated for a compensation package from the investor.
The people of Sinazongwe are eager to see more investment as that will create jobs.
“Over a hundred households have agreed to move to pave way for the construction of a thermal power plant in the area,” he says.
He is quick to add that the constituency is too vast and that it takes about three weeks to tour it.
He says Government should think about delimitation of the constituency to achieve development in that furthest part of the country.
Radio and television reception in the area is poor, but he is optimistic that with the migration to digital from analogue system it may result in improved signal.
The constituency expects a second community radio station which is under construction in Maamba while works are underway to upgrade the old station in Sinazongwe.
He, however, says mobile communication still remains a challenge as only a few towers have been erected in some areas.
Mr Sialubalo says there is only one MP at a time and wants to leave a legacy that he worked for the people in uplifting their living standards.
“I can only urge the people in the constituency to be united, if the area is to receive the much needed development,” he says.


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