ROAN National Democratic Congress (NDC) member of parliament Joseph Chishala says he is facing a serious challenge trying to develop his constituency because government is yet to release the much-needed Constituency Development Fund (CDF).
And Chishala says that the 2021 general election will be a “walk-over” for him when he re-contests his seat because the NDC have no challengers in Roan constituency.
Meanwhile, Chishala has maintained that party president Chishimba Kambwili remains “presidential material” and that he would be willing to support him wherever he ended up contesting for the Republican Presidency at next year’s general election.
In an interview with News Diggers!, Chishala complained that he was facing a serious challenge trying to develop his constituency as government was yet to release the much-needed CDF.
He, therefore, appealed to government to ensure that the 2020 CDF was disbursed, saying without it, there was no way any member of parliament would appear to be working.
He claimed that last year, no constituency received its CDF, yet it was approved in the 2019 national budget.
“Currently, there is a big challenge in all the constituencies. Last year, no constituency received CDF, yet CDF was approved in the 2019 budget. We don’t know where the funds have gone and we are still demanding for that 2019 CDF. This year, we haven’t seen any signal from the Ministry of Finance disbursing those funds to the Ministry of Local Government. So, we are also appealing to government to ensure that they disburse the 2020 CDF because without CDF, there is no way an MP is going to appear to be working. You cannot work on the road, erect a school using your pocket money. It’s CDF that normally assists us to erect buildings for those schools that are dilapidated and also come up with certain projects that a community can benefit. Now in the event that we don’t have CDF at hand, it’s becoming so difficult to appear to be working in the community. Your heart wants to work, but government is failing to provide resources,” Chishala complained.
He also urged the people in his constituency to have patience, saying he had a lot of plans for them.
“My appeal to the people in my constituency is that let them have patience because I have a lot of plans for my community, especially that I understand my community very well that there are no jobs and that the mines are not employing as they used to. But let them have patience and wait and see what I am going to do for them. I have got a lot on the table that I need to do for my community,” Chishala said.
And Chishala said next year’s general election would be a “walk-over” for him because the NDC had no other viable challengers for the Roan seat.
“2021 will be a walk-over because there is wind of change that year. PF is packing in 2021 whether they like it or not. In my constituency, there is no PF, there is only NDC. So, I don’t see myself having a challenge in 2021. It’s walk-over, it’s a done deal! Since NDC is here to stay, definitely, I am going to contest on [the] NDC ticket,” he added.
Meanwhile, reflecting on PF national mobilization vice chairperson Geoffrey Bwalya Mwamba’s insistence that Kambwili should return to the PF, the MP said he would only support the NDC leader’s return to the ruling party if he was given the presidency position because Kambwili was “presidential” and not “ministerial” material.
“Where are they going to position Kambwili [in PF] because Kambwili is a president? Unless they tell me they are going to give him [the party] presidency. If they are going to give him [the] presidency, then I would support him. But if he is going to go under someone, I can’t support such. And my advice to CK, who is my president, is that, ‘you are presidential material, you are not ministerial material’. So, even if you are called back to PF, I wouldn’t love him to accept any position less than presidency,” said Chishala.