Mnyamanzi UPND ward councillor in Sinda District Samson Zulu says councillors are struggling to work and deliver development because of government’s prolonged delays in releasing Constituency Development Funds (CDF).
In an interview, Zulu complained that in some communities where opposition councillors were working, constituents insulted them over their repeated failure to deliver development as promised during the election campaigns, mainly on account of lack of funding brought about by no receipt of the latest CDF.
He also bemoaned the challenges being faced by councillors under the PF government, which usually showed bias against those in opposition in favour of their ruling party counterparts.
“There are a lot of problems we are facing as councillors; no money, no development, and when a councillor is moving in communities, we are being mocked that we are doing nothing because of government, which is not doing better. Even us, don’t think we are happy, we are crying for development, which is lacking,” Zulu said.
“We report to government [on] the needs of the people, but government doesn’t do anything! We don’t see CDF; how can we foster development like this?”
He observed that PF councillors pretended that all was well and were reluctant to speak out on the challenges communities were facing.
“Most councillors are PF, who see the problems people face, but for them to speak, they fear to be disciplined by their party. We are together with them going [through] hard times, but their mouths are zipped! Imagine, how can we convince the people that we did what they voted us for when in five years, only two boreholes drilled in a councillor’s ward and a lot of projects remain idle? There is nothing we are doing to which it will be hard to point at something that time because we have been denied development by government; we have been de-campaigned by the government,” Zulu charged.
“I would urge my friends that let’s stand for the truth by telling people that things are not moving on well in our nation. To save ourselves in 2021, we need to tell people that we tried to push for development, but the people we are dealing with are deaf! They don’t listen and that it’s up to them (communities) to know what to do with it in 2021.”
He described the PF government as “a complete failure” in fulfilling their 2016 election campaign promises.
“We see a lot of failures in the PF government. They have failed to satisfy the people and it’s unfortunate that even council workers are treated like orphans under this government. They have families, they live in rented houses, but they are not paid accordingly because those in government put money in their pockets at the expense of the Zambian people. Shame,” Zulu said.
He, however, assured constituents that various governance challenges such as delayed payment of civil servants’ salaries would be improved once the UPND forms government.
“As we come into power in 2021, we can assure the people and civil servants that we shall respect their efforts in fostering development and we will totally take care of them,” said Zulu.
The government has delayed to deliver its latest consignment of this year’s CDF in various other constituencies in Eastern Province such as Mkaika in Katete District, mainly on account of a depleted Treasury, triggered by huge external debt servicing.