NATIONAL Development Planning Minister Alexander Chiteme has assured people of Eastern Province that President Edgar Lungu remains committed to supporting citizens to resume their normal lives in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to a statement issued by Ministry of National Development Planning spokesperson Chibaula Silwamba , Wednesday, Chiteme said this when he flagged off the official distribution of goods and equipment from the Edgar Chagwa Lungu Multi-Purpose Empowerment Cooperative (ECL-MPEC) in Chipata District this week.
The ceremony took place at Ephendukeni Palace of Paramount Chief Mpezeni of the Ngoni people, after he paid a courtesy call on the traditional leader.
Chiteme said the objective of the Edgar Chagwa Lungu Multi-Purpose Empowerment Cooperative was to support citizens to undertake entrepreneurship ventures and alleviate their sufferings, particularly in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.
He said the delivery of support in form of goods and equipment such as assorted second-hand clothes, stock-feeds, ploughs, chicken egg incubators, grinding mills and groceries, among others was a fulfillment of the promise that President Lungu made after various cooperatives in the province requested for this support.
Chiteme assured the people that President Lungu remained committed to supporting citizens to resume their normal lives, in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The creation of the Edgar Chagwa Lungu Multi-Purpose Empowerment Cooperative intervention is proof of the President’s concern for the people in light of the difficult circumstances that have beset them. This empowerment intervention being flagged-off today shall benefit about 900 cooperative members in all the 18 constituencies of Eastern Province. Beyond the 900 direct beneficiaries who are members of the cooperatives, the empowerment intervention has the potential to reach and uplift the lives of a significant number of households and communities, thereby spreading the benefits,” he said.
Chiteme appealed to the recipients to ensure proper use of the empowerment to achieve maximum potential and improve their welfare.
“I appeal to all recipients to make good use of the empowerment packages that you have received today. Put them to good use and ensure that they multiply and make a positive difference in your lives. In this way, there shall be motivation to increase the levels of support to yourselves and others who may not have benefitted from this first round of the empowerment distribution exercise,” he said.
And Paramount Chief Mpezeni thanked President Lungu for the delivery and distribution of the various goods and equipment to his subjects.
The Paramount Chief implored the Minster to ensure that the empowerment distribution exercise was not a one-time venture.
Paramount Chief Mpezeni called for the empowerment to continue so that more people in Eastern Province benefit from the support.