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New districts are a drain on the Treasury – HamududuBy Mirriam Chabala on 16 Sep 2017
Party of National Unity (PNU) president Highvie Hamududu says it is reckless for President Edgar Lungu to propose the creation of more districts when the already existing ones lack the necessary infrastructure to embellish them.
And Hamududu has advised government to start spending money in areas where it has the greatest developmental impact for the people of Zambia.
In an interview with News Diggers! Today, Hamududu noted that the lack of development in the country could not be defended by creating new more districts and that it would only be stressing the national treasury.
“I have been very consistent from the time I was Member of Parliament that its reckless to think of creating new districts when the ones in existence still lack the appropriate infrastructure. The lack of development in our country can not be defended by creating new more districts. By the way, we have more districts than South Africa which has a much bigger population than Zambia. So it is not a matter of districts that will bring us development. What has happened during the PF reign is that we have misplaced priorities. They have been announcing districts which have no capacity to bring local revenue and therefore depend solely on central government. Now by doing that, we are actually stressing the treasury,” Hamududu said.
“What we need as a country is to ensure that the existing districts begin to function properly. We have a lot maladministration in various districts including Lusaka itself. I can tell you that Lusaka district also depends largely on government grants, it doesn’t have the capacity to sustain itself in the provision of services. So the most important step that government has to undertake now is to make the current districts functional. The notion that new districts will bring up development is fake! It is not correct, we are just denying our children schools by believing in that. There must be an issue of per capital, how many people do we have in each district? If you calculate per capital sitters of the number of people in every district of this country its very low as compared to other countries like South Africa and Kenya.”
Hamududu said some of the places that had been districts were not even necessary and were becoming a drain to the treasury.
“The creation of new districts is becoming a drain to the treasury, one of the reasons why under the PF administration we have accrued so much debt and are carrying such a huge budget deficit, one of them is creation of new districts. There are already existing districts without proper infrastructure and houses for civil servants and there is no value addition in terms of the capacity of the dividing area. I can give you an example of Chikankata, that’s a district but for what? A serious government could have just put a school there for children or a college. So there must be a better approach for creating a district, it must be backed by a technical report, but what has been happening in the PF administration is donating districts. That is underdevelopment and in my view it must be stopped.” he said.
Meanwhile, Hamududu said government should set it’s priorities right and spend money on areas where it had the greatest developmental impact.
“There are needy areas that need the money they are wasting. We need good social services, good education facilities for Zambia’s population and affordable education. As I speak to you now some parents have stopped taking their children to school because school fees are very high. What people want are services that transform their lives, things such as education, health and other infrastructure. You don’t need to put a district, what people want are good roads and health facilities,” said Hamududu.
In August this year, President Edgar Lungu proposed the declaration of Kasenengwa, Chipangali, Lumezi, Chasefu and Msanzala constituencies in Eastern Province of Zambia as new districts and has since been waiting for the Provincial authorities to update him on the decision of boundaries for his proposition.
About Mirriam Chabala
Mirriam Chabala is a Zambian journalist who covers current affairs and writes in-depth feature articles on social issues.
Email: mirriam [at] diggers [dot] news
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