constituency watch, YANDE SYAMPEYO, Bweengwa
IT IS a historical Parliamentary seat, once held by veteran freedom fighter and leader of the African National Congress (ANC), Harry Mwaanga Nkumbula. That is not all to the history of Bweengwa, formerly Monze -West constituency. Mr Nkumbulaâ€™s son, Baldwin, who was also a famous politician, served as member of Parliament of this area before his untimely death in a road accident in 1995.
Bweengwa constituency is also host to the famous and controversial Monze-Niko road. The constituency also boasts of the endemic Kafue Lechwe and it is also host to the largest bird species known as the â€œBird Watchers Paradiseâ€ found in Lochinvar National Park.
The constituency is one of three in Monze district in Southern Province. The other two constituencies are Monze Central and Moomba. The constituency has a population of over 70,000 people and has seven wards.
The area member of Parliament for Bweengwa constituency is Higvie Hamududu, who was first ushered into office in 2006. Mr Hamududu says the upgrading of the Monze â€“Niko road to bituminous standard has opened up the area to development.
â€œThe debate on this important road, which stretches between Monze and Namwala, has been going on since independence. Iâ€™m glad that finally Government is working on this road and so far, 40 percent works have been completed. It is my hope that the rest of the road can be worked on expeditiously as people in the area are eager for more development,â€ the law-maker says.
Mr Hamududu says his focus for the constituency with use of the constituency development fund (CDF) has been health, education and infrastructure development. He believes the three sectors are catalysts of development.
â€œIn the last five years, my constituency has recorded significant growth in the areas of health, education and infrastructure development.
â€œRome was not built in a day, there is room to do better especially when provided with sufficient resources,â€ Mr Hamududu says.
The MP recognizes and appreciates the effort of a non-governmental organisation (NGO), World Vision, for its effort in uplifting the living standards of people in his constituency.
A number of health posts have been constructed in the constituency through collaborated efforts of Government, NGOs and CDF. At least two clinics have been constructed in each ward, in an effort to take health care as close to the family as possible. The long distances that people used to cover to access health services have significantly reduced. In Choongo east ward, Nteme clinic was constructed through CDF, while in Bweengwa ward, Nalutanda clinic was funded by CDF and partially Government. MabumbuÂ Â and Makonka clinics have also been constructed through CDF while government has funded the construction of Mahiba and New Banakaila clinics. In Mooya, a businessman, Hakainde Hichilema, has constructed a clinic – the biggest in the area. The project is scheduled to be handed to government soon.
Using the CDF, the three constituencies in the district put their resources together and purchased a brand new grader at a cost of K1.6 million. Mr Hamududu explains that the grader has assisted the local authority to transform rural roads. In Bweengwa constituency, the grader has so far upgraded the Munyenze-Moonzwe, Munyenze-Banakaila and Mandondo-Chungu roads. A German NGO, KFW, has also funded the upgrading of two roads in the area namely the Bbindilwe through Mooya and Gonwe-Lochinvar National park.
All the community schools in the constituency have been ugraded.Â At Makamba, pupils previously had class under a tree but that is now history as a three classrooms and three houses for teachers have been constructed through CDF. Other community schools that have been upgraded into primary include Luchenje, Mutiti, Mandondo while Keemba has been upgraded into a day secondary school.
In Hamusonde, a community mode project, that is a two classrooms block and a teacherâ€™s house is under construction at Hamusonde Day Secondary School. â€œWorld Vision has also upgraded a number of schools and teachers houses, at Bbolomani, Moonzwe, Mandondo and Nachibali, etc.
Dairy farming is an emerging economic activity in the area, especially with the upgrading of the Monze-Niko road by Government. Mr Hamududu says Parmalat and other companies have set up depots in the area.Â â€œSo far, the milk collection points are in Nteme and Munyenze. With this important road under construction, we are optimistic more collection points will be set up along the road,â€Mr Hamududu says.
Rearing of cattle, goats and cultivation of maize are other economic activities in the area. â€œWhat we lack in this area are dams and deep tanks to support the Livestock industry. There is a growing population of animals in this area hence there is need to construct more facilities to support this sector,â€ the lawmaker laments. Fishing in the Kafue South Bank is another major economic activity in the area.
Bweengwa constituency is home to the endemic Kafue Lechwe found in the Lochinvar National Park. In this national park, you also find the largest bird species known as the â€˜Bird Watchers Paradiseâ€™. Stone Age Paintings and hot water springs form part of the tourist attractions.
Mr Hamududu, however, implores Government to consider partnering with the private sector in running the national park. He feels the park has been neglected in the area of accommodation and that it has a poor road network. He also bemoans the encroachment in the park by some fishermen.
â€œThis park is a good getaway for people who would like to relax and have fun. We just need to improve on the facilities for our visitors through collaborated efforts,â€ he says.
WATER AND SANITATION
â€œIn this area, we have performed very well as a constituencyâ€, says Mr Hamududu. The law-maker says World Vision and Water Aid have sunk a number of boreholes which have drastically minimised water blues. People have also been encouraged to set up VIP latrines while at Keemba High School; a water reticulation system has been installed by World Vision.
Through the CDF, a number of churches have been constructed at Nakasangwe, Nalitube, Nalutanda and Ncheema. The law-maker believes if the country has to fight vices such as corruption and laziness, there is need to inculcate godliness in people, especially the youths.
â€œAlthough the initiative to construct churches using CDF initially received resistance from some authorities, I have continued to push as I strongly believe if we have to inculcate Christian values especially in the youths, vices such as corruption will be minimised.
People need to worship in decent structures. I have made a commitment to construct decent churches as they are recipe for integrity.â€
There is some mining activity in the constituency. An Egyptian company is mining Gypsum, a mineral used for various purposes, among others, in the manufacturing of cement and fertiliser.
The Rural Electrification Authority (REA) has electrified a number of areas in Hamusonde and Choongo chiefdoms in the constituency. In Chief Hamusondeâ€™s area, REA has electrified Bweengwa and Nalutanda schools, Bweengwa clinic as well as the traditional leaderâ€™s palace. In Choongo area, Nteme and Choongo schools as well as a clinic have been connected to the national grid. â€œAnd with funds from the CDF, Munyenze area will soon be electrified,â€ Mr Hamududu says.
The main tribe in the constituency is Tonga- Ila and you will also find the Batwa speaking people.
About 70 percent of people in the constituency have access to mobile telecommunication. The law-maker is happy his constituents are able to communicate with their families and loved ones in different parts of the country.
1964 -1978 – Harry Nkumbula
1978 -1988 – Rex Natala
1988 -1991 – Eli Mwanangâ€™onze
1991-1995 – Baldwin Nkumbula
1995 – 2001 – Edgar Keembe
2001 – 2006 – Japhet Monde
2006 – todate – Higvie Hamududu