In an interview, the traditional leader wondered why his chiefdom has remained unconsidered for a connection to the national grid when other areas have been electrified.
He bitterly complained that an area where civil servants were not happy to live and work could not be developed and this forced them to run away to areas where electricity was available.
“The problems are many that we are facing, but among the problems we are facing, the major one is that in my chiefdom, you won’t find any single pole of electricity and that has hindered a lot of development to take place in our area. Now, the biggest challenge we have encountered is that government workers such as teachers, health officers have been running away from my area just because there is no electricity since their electrical appliances remain dormant and they run to areas with electricity,” chief Kathumba narrated.
He wondered why the lives of his subjects should continue being lost due to lack of electricity.
“To be frank, it hurts to see how people suffer to seek services pertaining to electricity. Our people have to travel on ox carts and bicycles to grind their maize in Nyanje or Sinda covering long kilometers and with this load shedding, people coming back at night and other bad people take advantage of that to attack our poor people to which we have even lost lives of our beloved ones,” chief Kathumba lamented.
He added that stalled projects like clinics were now being vandalised by children and adults because they had over-stayed without being opened.
“We have the desire to join hands with government to develop our area. We have developments like Chinzule Clinic, which was completed long time ago, but it has not been opened and now children have started breaking the glasses, adults have started stealing something from there just because it appears as if it was not meant to benefit the people. We can protect it but people still sneak to vandalize it because it’s now a playing ground for our children, yet people contributed their efforts for it to be where it is but no government workers, no furniture. But for opening Kondwelani Clinic, we say thank you,” chief Kathumba said.
He also remembered that despite Mtandaza road being graded, there were a lot of roads that still need attention, fearing that they would become impassable with the onset of the rainy season.
And in a separate interview, her royal highness chieftainess Nyanje of the Nsenga-speaking people in Sinda District said people had started cooking mangoes and wild fruits as food due to hunger in her chiefdom.
She wondered where the relief food promised for her chiefdom was, which to-date still had not yet arrived.
“Here, hunger has infiltrated people’s homes and families. People right up now, they are cooking mangoes; they go in the bush and get Masuku (wild fruit) to feed their families. Every day, I receive people asking for a tin of maize or mealie meal from me, but unfortunately, even me as a chief, I have nothing to eat and what can I give my people? I ask myself, how will my people survive since this is just November and we have not touched February when hunger is at its peak! I don’t know what to do and I can’t remind our government since they promised and we are still waiting,” complained chieftainess Nyanje, who called upon her subjects to love each other by sharing the little that they had.