BUTTYSON KANDIMBA, Solwezi
DESPITE hosting one of the largest copper mines in Zambia at Kansanshi, Solwezi Central constituency in North- Western Province still lags behind in development.
Solwezi Central constituency, which consists of five wards namely Sandang’ombe, Kapijimpanga, Kamalamba, Kimasala and Tuvwanga’nayi, has a total of 81, 344 registered voters.
And nearly a year after the people of Solwezi Central voted for their representative in Parliament, they are still expectant to see development come to the area.
This is because the voters have not seen meaningful development from their previous representatives and they hope the situation will change for the better.
Among the many pressing issues affecting people in the constituency are poor road network and inadequate schools and health centres.
The population boom in Solwezi Central constituency which has been triggered by increased mining activities has since exerted pressure on the existing social infrastructure.
However, Government has initiated a number of development projects to improve the living standards of the people in the constituency.
Among the projects being implemented in the area are the tarring of 20.5 kilometres of selected township roads, construction of health posts, schools and upgrading of some selected primary schools into secondary schools.
Government through the Road Development Agency has also embarked on a project to upgrade the Independence Avenue from Solwezi River Bridge to Kandemba area into a dual carriage way to ease the flow of traffic passing through the mining town, also referred to as the new Copperbelt.
This is why Stafford Mulusa, the new member of Parliament for Solwezi Central constituency, offered himself to represent the people of Solwezi Central constituency.
Mr Mulusa has taken up the mantle to spearhead development in the area.
Born at Nchanga Hospital in Chingola on the Copperbelt in 1975, Mr Mulusa wants to ensure that the area receives a fair share of development.
He said he wants to ensure that the road infrastructure is improved and people have access to clean and safe drinking water.
“The issue of roads and water I think is something that is making me unhappy as a leader,” he said.
Mr Mulusa, who did his primary education at Kimasala Primary School in 1983 before moving to Zambezi Boarding Secondary School, where he did his grades eight and nine, says he was inspired to join politics by late Solwezi Central member of Parliament Ben Tetamashimba, whom he describes as his mentor in politics shortly after he completed his Grade Twelve at Solwezi Day Secondary School in 1994.
Mr Mulusa ,the sixth born in a family of twelve, later enrolled at the University of Zambia, where he pursued a diploma in Purchasing and Supply under the extension studies in 1998.
“Whilst I was studying with UNZA, my political career started and I joined the National Party, where I was a member and later joined the MMD before I finally joined the UPND, where I also served as provincial youth chairman, so I have been very active in politics in North-Western Province,” he said.
He stood on the UPND ticket against former Mufumbwe member of Parliament Steven Masumba in 2012 but lost and has promised to provide good leadership.
“The people of Solwezi Central were lacking good leadership and because of the so many complaints I was getting from them regarding under-development , I offered myself to represent them,” he said.
Mr Mulusa said there are a number of projects he intends to implement within his first five-year mandate, such as construction of schools, health centres and improving the road network in the area.
“The road network in my constituency is very bad despite being the richest constituency in this country,” Mr Mulusa said.
He, however, said through his intervention, Kansanshi Mining Company has been engaged and has agreed to tar some selected township roads.
“I went round the constituency barely two months after being elected and I looked at the projects that are currently going on and I have seen which areas need what and I think I was the right candidate to lead the people of Solwezi. I am happy that they gave me the vote,” Mr Mulusa said.
He also says he wants to promote agriculture in the constituency by setting up farm blocks to attract investors and create jobs for the local people.
Mr Mulusa also intends to promote fish farming and plans to set up fish ponds in three wards in the constituency to be managed by women and the youth to provide a source of income and a livelihood.
The law-maker says he also wants to focus on promoting sport in the constituency and will allocate part of the Constituency Development Fund to improving of sports infrastructure to nurture the talent of young people and keep them away from vices.
“The other thing that we are pushing is to have Kyawama and Zambia compounds re-demarcated so that access roads are created, water lines and electricity are taken there,” he said.
Mr Mulusa has since pledged to work with the government to foster development in his constituency.
“The people of Solwezi must expect results and I shall work closely with Government to foster development in my constituency and that I shall do and continue to provide good leadership,” he said.
Mr Mulusa said he wants to change the face of Solwezi Central constituency by implementing planned developmental projects that will impact positively on the lives of the electorate, who have given him the mandate.