DC, UPND showdown looms in Siavonga


THE UPND leadership in Siavonga district has instructed its councillors to shun meetings called by district commissioner Lovemore Kanyama, alleging that the meetings are only meant to intimidate councillors into submission.

But Mr  Kanyama has said the meetings he was calling with the councillors were meant to discuss the use of Constituency Development Funds at the district council.

He said the previous councillors abused the CDF and therefore he wanted to ensure that all the money and resources the UPND-run local authority was receiving from Government was accounted for and put to good use for the benefit of the community.

Mr Kanyama warned that if the councillors refused to meet him over the issue of CDF, he will ensure that the district council did not receive funding from Government because resources meant to uplift the living standards for the people of Siavonga were being wasted and only benefiting a few individuals.

“I’m the eyes of the Government here in Siavonga, I cannot sit and watch Government resources going to waste when the people in the area are languishing in abject poverty. I think the President must now be told that Siavonga District Council is not ready for CDF or any funding. Why should Government continue sending CDF to the district when it does not reach the intended people,” he said.

And UPND district chairman, Chekwenvala Ng’andu said the district commissioner has no authority over the council and therefore could not force the district fathers to attend his meetings.

He said if the DC wants to meet the UPND councillors, he should not use force but instead should first engage the opposition party leadership in the district and indicate what he wanted to discuss with the civic leaders.

Mr Ng’andu alleged that it was in public domain that  the district commissioner was threatening to recommend the suspension of the council when the councillors had not even taken oath, adding that he saw no reason why Mr Kanyama should insist on meeting the same people he was against.

He warned that any councillor who wouldl go against the party directives by attending the DC’s meetings will be disciplined.

Meanwhile, Siavonga District Council secretary Carol Mkandawire on Friday lost her temper during the meeting which was called by Mr Kanyama for heads of departments  and councillors but was aborted after the civic leaders boycotted.

The seemingly upset Ms Mkandawire said she was not happy with media reports quoting some people indicating that there was misapplication and misuse of funds at the district council.

“I think if truly some people feel that monies are not being used in a prudent manner, let investigations wings come in and check so that the issue can be put to rest. Otherwise this whole thing is denting the image of the council,’’ said Ms Mkandawere in the presence of stunned heads of departments.

On Wednesday, the Siavonga district commissioner warned the newly elected UPND councillors and council workers against abusing CDF, adding that those who will be found wanting will not only be prosecuted but also made to pay back the money.