Local Government ready for new constituencies

JACK Mwiimbu.

THE Ministry of Local Government and Housing says it is ready for the creation of six more constituencies that will increase the number of members of Parliament to 156.
Permanent secretary Misheck Lungu yesterday told the Jack Mwiimbu-led Parliamentary Committee on Legal Affairs, Governance, Human Rights, Gender Matters and Child Affairs that being the main player in the administration of the constituency development fund (CDF), his ministry is ready.
“We are very ready to support this exercise. Chair (chairman), we are the custodian and the main player in the allocation of CDF. Currently, it is very difficult to administer CDF in one constituency, which is sharing two districts,” Mr Lungu said.
Mr Lungu was making a submission on the National Assembly bill that seeks to increase the number of MPs due to the creation of new districts.
He said the creation of new constituencies will enhance development in the areas.
Mr Lungu said his ministry has been working closely with the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) to also increase the number of wards as the new constituencies will be created.
And he said the current MPs will oversee the new districts until general elections next year.
He said this in response to a question raised by Chitambo MP Mushili Malama, who wanted to know whether MPs in the affected areas will bother to distribute CDF to new constituencies.
“Do you think in my right state of mind I will bother to take care of an area where I know that next year there will be another MP?” Mr Malama asked.
But Mr Lungu said MPs are people of integrity and so they will take care of the new areas until elections are held.
And Mpika Central MP Mwansa Kapeya wondered whether the ministry had taken into account population in the newly-created areas.
Mr Lungu said based on the 2010 census, there will be enough people in the new areas.
“Mr chairman, as we urbanise new districts, more people will be attracted to these areas as they will offer new opportunities,” he said.

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