Monday, March 17, 2008
By Christopher Miti
Monday March 17, 2008 [03:00]
PRESIDENT Mwanawasa has been bestowed with the order of the free man of Chipata. The council resolved to honour the President as ‘free man of the town’ during the full council meeting held last Saturday. Chipata mayor Sinoya Mwale said the council unanimously agreed to honour the President because of the economic achievement that the town had attained during his leadership.
“As a council, we decided to honour the President because he did a lot in terms of development to this town and the country at large so we thought it is better to honour him that way,” said Mwale.
Council public relations officer Levi Ngoma said Chipata had economically developed through the leadership of President Mwanawasa.
“There are a lot of achievements that have happened in Chipata and Eastern Province at large under President Mwanawasa’s leadership. I think you have seen the acceleration in the tarring of township roads in Chipata, the Chipata-Muchinji railway project, so we are talking of these programmes,” he said.
Ngoma said the last person who was given a similar honour was Dr Kenneth Kaunda when he was still president. But former FDD Chipata central member of parliament Mathew Mwale said President Mwanawasa’s honour should have been based on his consistent fight against corruption.
“This honour should be based on the President’s fight against corruption. We have seen people like the Funjika’s of this world being arrested as a result of his persistent fight against corruption,” said Mwale.
Mwale said it was difficult to honour the President based on the improvement of the economy.
“The micro-economic achievements that people are talking about belong to the boardrooms and lecture rooms because they are just academic, people on the ground don’t see them,” he said.
Mwale said the Chipata-Muchnji railway project was not yet completed and that it was premature to take it as a basis for the honour.