CHINOYI CHIPULU, Chingola
CHINGOLA, founded in 1943 and declared a municipality in 1957, was once considered the cleanest town in the country. Still, it remains the most picturesque of the Copperbelt towns with a wealth of trees and flowers.
The Nchanga golf course in Chingola can lay claim to being one of the most beautiful and well-kept courses in Africa.
Whatever the case, it is not the golf course that is pre-occupying the residents of Chingola right now. In any case, they are not hosting the Zambia Open Golf tournament.
Like the rest of the country, residents of Chingola, which has two constituencies, Chingola and Nchanga, will be electing its Member of Parliament (MP).
Five candidates are contesting the Chingola parliamentary seat: Matthew Nkhuwa of the ruling Patriotic Front (PF); Donald Chishika, United Party for National Development (UPND); Donald Mulongoti, Rainbow Party; Chipoka Mulenga, National Restoration Party (NAREP); and Rueben Chipemba, Forum for Democracy and Development (FDD).
Matthew Nkhuwa – PF
Mr Nkhuwa, 62, a mechanical engineer, has been tipped by many to be the front-runner for the Chingola seat, and he is confident of winning based on the governmentâ€™s record in implementing various development projects.
â€œWe have built roads, schools and hospitals. And Iâ€™m confident that come August 11, we will carry the day. People want to see massive developments countrywide,â€ the prominent businessman says.
â€œWe are confident that weâ€™re scooping the seats because the PF is popular and it is working tirelessly for the wellbeing of the people. All well-meaning Zambians should support President Lungu and all the PF candidates.â€
Mr Nkhuwa, who is the proprietor of Matty Investments and manages Icon Hotel, wants to attract more investment in various economic sectors of Chingola that will benefit the youth.
â€œWe will empower youths and women because we care about the lives of the people; this can be done through increased investments,â€ he says.
Overall, he is promising the continuation of the various development projects that the ruling party has embarked on.
McDonald Mulongoti – Rainbow
Mr Mulongoti is not new to the electorate in Chingola having served as Chingola mayor from 2010 to 2011 under the PF before contesting as Chingola MP on the FDD ticket in 2011 when he came out second.
Mr Mulongoti, 42, is promising to change the face of Chingola and bring back its lost glory as the cleanest town in the country. For him, it is about continuing from where he ended as mayor.
He says during his time as mayor, he managed to clear the garbage which was the biggest headache in the area.
â€œI have a passion to work for the people and I need to contribute to the community by changing the lives of the people,â€ he says.
Mr Mulongoti, a holder of a diploma in Human Resource Management and currently a second year student at the Copperbelt University where he is studying for a Bachelor of Arts degree in Human Resource Management, wants to bring back sanity to the community by discouraging drug and alcohol abuse among youths.
Mr Mulongoti also wants to implement the FDDâ€™s manifesto.
This means encouraging small scale farmers to diversify from just maize production and empowering women and the youth through various income generating projects by accessing empowerment funds.
â€œPeople need to diversify, and areas like Fipuya and Kalilo can be turned into farming blocks,â€ he says.
â€œPeople should also not politicise the empowerment funds because they are meant for youths and women even if they belong to different political parties.â€
Mr Mulongoti is confident of emerging victorious on August 11.
â€œIâ€™m the peopleâ€™s most favourite candidate in Chingola and they are the ones who advised me to stand because of my humility. None of my fellow candidates have a strong political background like me. I have been doing community service to contribute to the welfare of the people for a long time,â€ he says.
Donald Chishika – UPND
Uncle D, as the locals call the 38-year old Mr Chishika, is passionate about modernising Chingola if elected MP.
The businessman is also promising to put up more skills training centres and create jobs for youths who are roaming the streets.
â€œMy party will create jobs for the youth across the country. We are here to develop this nation,â€ he says.
Mr Chishika says his party will make it easier for businessmen to access bank loans and ensure that the supply of goods to various industries involves the local people. His party will also create other income-generating activities that will benefit women and youths.
As a party, they want to reduce poverty.
Mulenga Chipoka – NAREP
Mr Chipoka, whose party is not fielding a presidential candidate, says if voted as MP, he wants to see more schools built and will work to decongest Chawama Clinic by building more health posts in the peri-urban areas.
Mr Chipoka, 35, a holder of a Bachelor of Science (BSc) degree, says his party will empower more youths in the district through creation of self-sustainable projects.
He is confident of winning the election because he has been working with the communities in the constituency.
Reuben Chipemba – FDD
Mr Chipemba, a former Ndola College of Bio-sciences student, who headed the studentsâ€™ union from 2011 to 2013, says it is his calling to be a servant of the people.
The youngest in the contest, the 27-year-old says youths can transform the country if given a chance to rule.
Mr Chipemba says as a vibrant young man, he will be a servant of the people if elected to Parliament.
Born and bred in Chingola, Mr Chipemba did his primary education at Nakatindi Primary School before going to Agape International Academy where he also served as head boy.
Mr Chipemba says he is familiar with all the challenges Chingola residents face, and that if elected, he will easily be able to solve them.
â€œI have been a Chingola resident and I know what residents want. It will be easy for me to work on their challenges,â€ he says.
Well, it is August 11 which will decide.
CHINOYI CHIPULU, Chingola