Senior Chief Nzamane of the Ngoni people in Eastern Province says there is a possibility that the current political leadership will not deliver much this year because they will be pre-occupied with securing a new mandate ahead of next year’s general election.
And the traditional leader says Zambia is currently in economic mess, leading to some uprising.
Meanwhile, chief Nzamane has attributed the high cases of child pregnancies in Eastern Province to poor governance in managing poverty.
In an interview, chief Nzamane feared that government leaders would not deliver much development this year because they would be preoccupied with campaigns for the coming general elections.
He, however, commended government for the road infrastructure development in the region so far, but appealed for the same efforts to be made in the health and education sectors.
“It will be difficult because everybody else is looking at ushering in new leaders by 2021, so, 2020 will be a busy year. Politicians will be putting their houses in order to try and contest. Even the current political leadership…will be preoccupied with trying to put their house in order. So, they won’t do much. It will be another tough year,” chief Nzamane said.
The traditional leader said there had been more accessibility in his chiefdom due to the improved road infrastructure, but condemned the non-completion of some schools that were still under construction for years.
“We have one or two schools around here, which were started some five to 10 years ago and are still not completed! Yes, the roads have been done and I think we should give respect where it is due. We have some of the feeder roads that have been worked on, meaning that there is accessibility in the chiefdom. But the major projects, such as schools and health facilities, there is very little that has been done. And some have remained unfinished,” chief Nzamane lamented.
And he observed that cases of child pregnancies had skyrocketed in his chiefdom, a development he attributed to high poverty.
“Yes, (Eastern Province) is on the higher side, but you know the causes of this: it’s the governance itself. If there is poverty in the country, the girls will go in the streets to try and get some money from the men that have the money. Once we work on the governance system, all these things will subdue. But the girls must be responsible as well as the boys. We try to educate our people that families must look after their children. But it’s difficult, you can’t put a leech so that the girls don’t go out in the night, otherwise, we will be conflicting with the human rights,” chief Nzamane said.
Meanwhile, the traditional leader said there had not been any distribution of food relief to his subjects so far, adding that the 12 kilogramme bags of mealie-meal previously distributed were inadequate for starving families.
“Do we have relief food anywhere here? Even the relief food that has been given before, I was seeing those 12kg packages, for how long will they go? For a family of six? It’s just two meals. Even now, I doubt if there is any relief food here,” said chief Nzamane.
“So, 2019 was very difficult for people here. Economically, the country has gone in a shambles! There is a lack of food. Even the civil servants themselves felt it and this is why you can see a lot of some uprisings. In terms of agriculture, the weather pattern is changing, there is global warming. I think we must blame ourselves because we have been cutting down all the trees and the formation of rains can’t come without these trees. The rain pattern has changed so much. We used to have rains in about late December and we don’t know for how long it is going to last. We hope it keeps on raining up to about April this year, I hope we are going to have better yields. But if it stops along the way, even what we have planted won’t get us anywhere. We won’t haven’t harvest anything.”