Chiengi FDD member of parliament Given Katuta has appealed to President Edgar Lungu to work on roads and bridges in her constituency saying her people should not be punished for having an opposition MP.

And Katuta has accused Minister of Housing and Infrastructure Ronald Chitotela of paying special attention to his constituency at the expense of other areas which are in need.

In an interview, Katuta appealed to President Lungu to work on the roads and bridges in her constituency as soon possible.

“I want to appeal to the President himself regarding what the people of Chiengi are going through because of the heavy rains which have been happening in Luapula in particular. I’m appealing to the President who is not only the President for PF but for the nation. The people of Chiengi are appealing to the President to have their road done as soon as possible. I’m aware that there is a contract with Sinohydro but at the moment we have a lot of parts of where the road is badly damaged. Like at Munsa, in Mwatishi which is in Nchelenge and Luntomfu, the bridge has been washed away. Now how do people pass? Or if there is an emergency from Chiengi hospital taking a patient to Kashikishi, where will the ambulance pass?” she asked.

Katuta said her people should not be punished for having an opposition MP.

“I’m appealing to the President himself to speak to the minister of infratsructure to send a team of RDA to give us bridges for the time being while we wait for the contractor to go on site. The people of Chiengi should not be pushed for having an opposition member of parliament, no. They are Zambians, they have their own constitutional right,” she said.

Katuta said it was unfair that Chitotela was concentrating on the washed away bridge in his constituency whilst ignoring the plight of her people in Chiengi.

“I’m very disappointed to see that the minister himself, the entire minister honourable Chitotela could even go with ZNBC and other media houses to show that they have done a pass-by route on that Kawambwa road, the road which got damaged by heavy rains. There is nothing wrong with helping the people of Kawambwa but there is everything wrong when there is discrimination. Because we have had the same challenges in Chiengi before this happened in Kawambwa and I expected the same government also to rush to the people of Chiengi to give them also help. Its not fair. What about the people of Chiengi? Bale enda mumenshi (walking in water). They are risking [their lives because] they can be beaten by snakes or be carried away with the current of those streams or rivers,” she said.

Katuta said she would soon write a letter to President Lungu to look into the plight of her people.

“As soon as I’m back from parliamentary tour I intend to write a letter to the President himself that he should look into the plight of the people of Chiengi the way they looked into the plight of the people of Western province. I’m here in Western province, if you see the bridges which have been done in the province, it’s amazing. But that’s the duty of the government to do that and I expect the same thing to be done for the people of Chiengi. The minister of infrastructure (Chitotela), I didn’t even expect him to go with the media to show that he is working, what about the people of Chiengi who started crying when the bridges were washed away some two months ago? Nothing has been done,” said Katuta.

“Kindly ask the minister (Chitotela) why the government has not reached out to the people of Chiengi especially after he had promised them that by 1st of March he will bring the President to launch the road. Ask him why he has not done that. And it so happens that after all these things have taken place in Chiengi and now that Kawambwa has been affected he rushes there, is it because he is from Kawambwa and he is a member of parliament there?”