MPEZENI, the Paramount Chief of the Ngoni people, says he has not seen anything good regarding the creation of new districts. And Mpezeni says he is concerned with delays in the completion of tarring of the Chipata-Vubwi road. The government recently signed a Gazette on the creation of seven new districts – Chasefu, Chipangali, Kasenengwa, Lumezi and Lusangazi, all of Eastern Province, and Lupososhi (Northern) and Chifunabuli (Luapula).
Several others were created by president Michael Sata soon after winning the 2011 general elections but none have been developed to the level of district. According to the government, the creation of new districts is meant to foster rural development and ease administration of the areas. The latest addition has pushed the number of districts in Zambia to 114.
But Mpezeni has told The Mast that he did not understand why the government had plans of creating some more districts.
“Monga ine neo paliye chabwino chanionapo pama district ya nyowani, chioneka kuti monga aba banthu bali pa plan popanga ma districts, so
mafumu malo bazakhala balibe (for me, there is nothing good I have seen about the creation of new districts, it’s like these people have [sinister] plans in creating new districts, so the chiefs will have no land),”
He recalled that during Frederick Chiluba’s reign, there was a lands bill and the traditional leaders in Eastern Province rejected it.
“So olo pankhani yama districts amene aba chioneka monga afuna kubalonda malo banthu so olo beve mafumu mphamvu bazakhala balibe, bazakhala under council, lomba tikankhala under council sindiye kuti amfumu aliye mphamvu iliyonse (even the issue of these new districts, it looks like they want to grab land from the people and even traditional leaders will have no power, the land will be under the council. Now when we are under the council, it means that we have no power)” he said.
And Mpezeni said the Chipata-Vubwi road was in bad state.
“Even if Vubwi was declared a district, a district without a road!” remarked Mpezeni.