Saturday, October 20, 2007

Govt sends fertiliser to Chingola

Govt sends fertiliser to Chingola
By Zumani Katasefa and Patson Chilemba
Saturday October 20, 2007 [04:00]

The government has sent 4,600 by 50 kilogramme bags of D Compound fertiliser to Chingola district. But the move has received sharp criticisms from some parliamentary candidates taking part in the Nchanga parliamentary by- election scheduled for November 8, 2007. In an interview yesterday, Chingola district commissioner Tobby Maliti confirmed the development and said the district was awaiting urea and seeds which were going to be delivered soon.

"Yes I can confirm that so far the district has received 4,600 by 50 kilogrammes of D compound fertiliser but we are yet to receive urea and seeds," Maliti said.

"What we have received this year, translates to half of what we received last year. About 1,155 farmers are going to benefit from the seeds," said Maliti.

But opposition Patriotic Front (PF) candidate in the forthcoming by-election Wylbum Simuusa said it was not right for government to deliver farming inputs to the people of Chingola during election time.

" We should try by all means to play a fair game," he said.
Simuusa said voters should not be wooed, using such tactics when government had not been doing enough to help uplift the living standards of the people.

Simuusa also bemoaned the living standards of the people of Nchanga Constituency especially those living in the peri-urban areas.

He said many people in the area lacked proper medical facilities, security and good roads.
"I am very much aware of what problems people in the peri-urban areas of Chingola are going through. They lack medical facilities, security and proper road infrastructure," he said.

Simuusa said it was sad that despite its huge contributions to the economic growth of Zambia, Chingola district had little development.

He said there was need for government to ensure that the district received enough in terms of development as it was making huge contributions to the wealth of the country.
Simuusa also said the people of Chingola lacked proper representation in the National Assembly.

And the United Party for National Development (UPND) said it was not scared of the MMD.
UPND provincial chairman Joe Kalusa said his party was the only one which had a candidate that could effectively represent the people of Nchanga in the National Assembly.

He urged people of Nchanga to consider voting for UPND's candidate Alvin Simwinga during the forthcoming by elections.

And Foundation for Democratic Process (FODEP) president Stanley Mhango said it was not in order for government to send 4,600 by 50 Kilogram bags of D compound fertiliser to Chingola when a by-election was around the corner.

Mhango said the fertiliser could influence the electorate to vote for the MMD in the upcoming Nchanga by-election.

"Firstly, as FODEP, we are on record saying anything that might be construed as trying to induce voters to vote in a certain way is against genuine democracy. We see that anytime there is a by-election such tendencies continue to be perpetuated.

It's not in order for government to send that fertiliser to Chingola when an election is around the corner. That activity is going to influence voters.

There is no disaster in Chingola which will need them to take fertiliser now," Mhango said. "The fact that there is an election next month, that fertiliser should not be sent now. That is tantamount to electoral corruption."

Mhango said the decision by government should be condemned. He said the best government could have done was to hold on to the fertiliser until after the elections if the move was genuine.

"What if they tell the voters that if you don't vote for MMD you won't receive the fertilizer?" he wondered.

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