LUAPULA Province will remain a stronghold for the Patriotic Front (PF) because President Edgar Lungu is enjoying good and warm relationships with the traditional leadership in the region, Luapula chiefs have declared.
And President Lungu has expressed gratitude to the chiefs from Luapula for accepting his invitation to meet him so that they could share the best ideas of how to develop the region.
The traditional leadership in Luapula has declared unflinching support to President Lungu whom they have said was committed to the development of the region.
The traditional leaders have dispelled media reports that the chiefs from Luapula were angry with President Lungu’s administration for its alleged lack of commitment to developing the area despite having contributed to the political strength of the ruling party. About 30 chiefs from Luapula met President Lungu at State House yesterday and declared that they would work with the Government of the day because they were part of the governance system of the country. Speaking on behalf of the chiefs from Luapula, chief Nsamba of Lunga district said the traditional leaders were happy to have met President Lungu with whom they discussed a range of developmental issues which included the road infrastructure in the region.
Chief Nsamba said it was the feeling of the traditional leadership that Luapula was lagging behind in development despite being endowed with abundant natural resources such as water falls from which the country could generate power, the region had not received enough investment to develop itself.
He told journalists after the meeting with President Lungu that Luapula was desirous to benefit from the developmental programmes the PF Government was undertaking adding investment in hydro-power would be able to attract investment in the region and create jobs for the people in the Province.
“We know that there had been some media statements suggesting that the chiefs in Luapula were not happy with President Lungu and the PF government. Let me state that the chiefs in Luapula are enjoying good relationship with the PF government and Luapula will for a long time remain a stronghold of the PF and it is absolutely not true that we are angry. We are happy that President Lungu accorded us audience and we have discussed a range of developmental issues such as the road infrastructure and investment in the hydro-power in the region because only then would we have sustainable development,” Chief Nsamba said.
And President Lungu has assured the traditional leaders in Luapula that his government was committed to ensuring that there was development in all sectors in the region.
Special assistant to the President for press and public relations Amos Chanda said the President thanked the chiefs for their continued support being rendered to his Government.
Mr Chanda said the Mwata Kazembe of the people of Luapula called him on Wednesday to inform him that he would be unable to attend the meeting but that the traditional leaders that had travelled to Lusaka had his blessings.
Mr Chanda said President Lungu had pledged to accelerate the road infrastructure development in Luapula and that those who were criticising the road projects were free to use alternative routes and avoid the roads
“President Lungu has not paid attention to falsehoods being perpetrated by some media houses about the road infrastructure development. There are some people who are criticising the President that people will not eat roads but our advice is that let them use alternative means of communication. The President has full confidence in the leadership of Luapula administration and the traditional leadership,” Mr Chanda said.
Meanwhile, Luapula Province permanent secretary Boniface Chimbwali said the chiefs from the region were happy that President Lungu had given them chance to share with him their developmental concerns.