Columnists Features

Kapiri Mposhi needs more growth

KAPIRI Mposhi MP Stanley Kakubo

FOUCS ON MPs with YANDE SYAMPEYO, Lusaka
AT EIGHT years old, Stanley Kakubo and his father took a walk from Fubera Train Station in Kapiri Mposhi to headman Lyumbo’s homestead and it was that ‘path ’which inspired him to venture into politics.

Mr Kakubo say s the ‘path’, which has remained the same over the years anchored his political career in a bid to change the development status of Kapiri Mposhi.
When Stanley’s father retired from the Railways, he took a train trip with his son from Ndola to Kapiri Mposhi and they arrived at a station called Fubera around 02:00 hours in the morning and walked to their destination.
“The path from Fubera to headman Lyumbo’s house is still the same. It is that path that got me into politics because how can it still look the same from the time I was eight years old?
“In that path lies my love for Kapiri and that is where my political life was anchored. It got me into politics, to try and make a difference for close to 300,000 people in the districts,” he laments.
Mr Kakubo, who is the new member of Parliament for Kapiri Mposhi constituency which borders Ngabwe, Chisamba and Luano in Central Province, says the area, which is a transit town, has been neglected development wise.
The lawmaker’s political ambition was further inspired by late former President Fredrick Chiluba, whom he admired for his passion for the country.
Mr Kakubo, an accountant by profession and entrepreneur, spent part of his childhood in Kapiri Mposhi, secured by a firm Christian background.
Mr Kakubo, who does nothing in life unless it is anchored on God’s principles, has an ambitious masterplan for the area dictated by people on the grassroots.
Born in Livingstone in 1980, Mr Kakubo’s thrust is to ensure all the projects initiated by the community are completed.
The MP is of the view that projects embarked upon by the community are of utmost importance and deserve to be completed earnestly.
“I promised the people that once they gave me the opportunity to serve them, I would go back to them and have a further insight on the sort of things they want us to achieve together.
“Projects initiated by the community is an indication of what the people want and cry for and when they realise that there is no help coming from somewhere, they get started,” he says.
Mr Kakubo’s plan is to partner with councillors and other stakeholders is to ensure all the community led projects in the area of education and health among others are completed urgently and equipped with the necessary manpower and equipment.
He, however, laments that the scanty release of the Constituency Development Fund (CDF) might not have so much of an impact on the lined up projects.
Mr Kakubo, just like many other lawmakers has reservations regarding the allocation of the CDF and its disbursement.
He laments that the constituency has in the last two years not received the fund and that this year, only K700, 000, has so far been released by Government out of the K1.4 million annual allocations.
“When you look at the population, statistics for the last census show about 260, 000 people and so with that population and an allocation of K1.4 million, when you do the math, per capital, each resident in Kapiri is only entitled to K5, if we divided and shared it. So it is very difficult to change lives because even the release of the fund is scanty,” he laments.
The lawmaker is of the view that CDF should not be a fixed allocation but a percentage of the total national budget approved.
He says the fund should not be uniform but strategically allocated depending on the poverty levels, size of the area and needs of the people.
However, the MP is alive to the fact that he and people in the constituency need to be innovative to foster growth in the area.
In the medium term to long term plan is to partner with people on the grassroots and use the available skills to foster projects.
In the urban side of the constituency, he wants to be remembered as a lawmaker who facilitated growth in the business sector as well as employment creation.
His desire is to see the setting up of a shopping mall in the transit constituency which will subsequently create jobs for the youthful population.
At the main bus stop, Mr Kakubo plans to ensure the place is refurbished to an acceptable standard.
He is also working with a number of churches and non-governmental organisations (NGO) to establish a skills training centre for youths.
Further on his recommendation, a named company is working in partnership with the local authority to erect street lights in the area.
Mr Kakubo believes once this is done, before the close of this year, it will enhance security and business activities.
However, the constituency, whose main stay is agriculture, is no exception to challenges faced by rural constituencies.
Mr Kakubo says government policy on farming is not performing well as the e-voucher and Farmer Input Support Programme (FISP) in general is not making an impact on the farming community.
He laments that most farmers paid money for the e-voucher but the fertiliser was never delivered.
The MP explains that in the last farming season, the e-voucher cards were being delivered in January and February while some farmers did not receive them.
He says the failure of FISP is making it difficult for the farmers to graduate because the cost of inputs is way beyond their reach.
Mr Kakubo also cited water reticulation as another challenge facing the constituency which is 990,000 square kilometres and 90 percent rural.
The MP says boreholes that were sunk in previous years dry up especially during summer.
“The situation is so severe that most part of the year especially dry season, people and animals have to share the same water from the streams as most mono pumps dry up,” he says
He wants Government to deliver the 40 boreholes it promised to drill in the constituency this year to ease the water problem.
Mr Kakubo further laments that the peri-urban area of the constituency of which 80 percent of the population is youthful is grappling with unemployment.
He adds that youths that are lucky to graduate from secondary are finding it difficult to manage tuition fees in the tertiary institutions.
Mr Kakubo says although the area is host to the famous TAZARA, the company is unable to mop up skills in terms of employment as it struggling.
In the education sector, he bemoans the limited number of primary and secondary schools against the growing population.
Coupled with this challenge is the inadequate manpower as most teachers leave the schools for urban areas but continue to draw salaries from the payroll of the schools they abandon.
“You may find a school which runs from grade one to nine only has two teachers. Government should bring back the teachers assigned to Kapiri constituency,” Mr Kakubo says.
A similar situation exists in the health centres which lack manpower. ”For instance, a health post in Munga ward has been sponsored by a certain NGO but Government has not been forthcoming in recruiting the relevant staff,” he says.
In the road sector, most contractors have abandoned works due to lack of funding from Government.
Mr Kakubo says the two contractors that are active are only conducting spotty repairs on badly damanged roads.
The MP’s wish is for government to consider to opening up the Kawale, Mulungushi, Waya-Lukanga and Mukobeko-Mpunde-Chipepo.
Mr Kakubo, who was born in Livingstone and raised in was educated at Ndola Basic, Kansenshi and Hillcrest Secondary schools.
He did part of his accounting study at University of Zambia (UNZA) after which he pursued his career in United Kingdom (UK).
While abroad, where he stayed for five years, he worked part time as a student with American Express, Morgan Stanley and MacDonald’s among others.
He returned to Zambia in 2006 and was employed at ZANACO as a manager for the Treasury and Business Banking.

 

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