Namwala UPND member of parliament Moono Lubezhi says it is shocking that the Executive can be asking MPs to use the Constituency Development Fund (CDF) for capital projects when the Chinese are quoting government over K1.4 million per kilometre for a stretch of road.
In an interview, Lubezhi bemoaned the deplorable state of the Monze-Niko Road, which she said government had abandoned for too long.
“We have the deplorable roads, which the government is not even talking about, and when you ask them, they will tell you to use the CDF, but roads are capital projects [and] K1.4 million is nothing! You can’t say I will do all the feeder roads in Namwala [using that K1.4] million; you can’t say I will do a stretch from Niko to Ndema or from Ndema to Itapa or Masompe, it’s not possible, that is too much! Is K1.4 million not less than the money, which the Chinese are quoting them per kilometre? So, how can they tell us to use CDF for the roads when the Chinese are quoting them more than K1.4 per kilometre?” Lubezhi wondered.
“The Monze-Niko is still a suicide! From 2012, it has stood, and worse still for that road [is that] the time they hoodwinked us and put those heaps of sand every 10 metres, my dear, [those heaps of sand] have now become rocks. They left them on the road [and] nearly every day, there is an accident. If you don’t know that road and you driving through it, you will ram into those rocks! The last time I even proposed to say: ‘can you bring the same contractor to come and remove those ant-hills on the road.’ During rainy season, it’s even worse because you can’t even go off the road or else you will be stuck or you will slip over, but now, it’s a sorry sight.”
She said only an unreasoning leader can ask a fellow leader to implement capital projects with inadequate funds.
“[But] finally, they have given us the full CDF amount [although we don’t even know whether it’s for 2014 or 2015 or 2016 or 2017 or 2018, but finally after not having CDF for Namwala from 2014, 2018, December, I was given. And that is why I am saying now we are in problems [because] each time you tell them about feeder roads, they will tell you [that] we gave you CDF and yet roads are a capital project,” Lubezhi explained.
“That K1.4 million is not worthy what their fellow Chinese quote them because they are no longer Zambians also, they have also become Chinese because if they were Zambians, they would understand what their fellow Zambians are going through. So, that K1.4 [million] is now a song ‘use CDF,’ how do I use CDF? [and] even if I am to tell my counterpart from Bweengwa to say: ‘bring your K1.4 and my K1.4, we make K2.8,’ it’s not possible. So, what makes them think that when it comes to Namwala K1.4 million is enough to do more than 80 kilometres? That is just mere failure of reasoning! They have just failed to govern! Those are just uncoordinated thoughts where a leader can tell a fellow leader that: ‘use this amount’ when you know very well that this amount is not enough.”
Lubezhi, however, added that she was proud to have managed to move President Edgar Lungu from State House just to go and commission a mothers’ shelter, which she had built using CDF.
“So, really for Namwala I can say there is nothing. The only time the Head of State was there was when he came to open my… and I will call it mine because it was my initiative “Mothers’ Shelter” which the DC lied to the Head of State that it was from the line ministry from the Ministry of Health. The beautiful mothers’ shelter, which you will find at Namwala District Hospital, was a CDF project in 2013; my last CDF [before this one]. And the DC lied to the Head of State and I stand here as a very proud person that I can make the whole entire Head of State to move and come and commission my project,” bragged Lubezhi.