North chiefs back Lungu on Mpika decentralisation

NORTHERN Province chiefs have pledged to support the plan by President Edgar Lungu to divide Mpika district into three. Senior Chief Kopa of the Bisa-speaking people said the plan to divide the district had come at the right time when the nation had embraced and enshrined the decentralisation policy. The Chiefs said at the weekend and during a stakeholders meeting to debate and adopt boundaries and names of the two new forthcoming districts, to be created once the largest district in the country was divided into three. Chief Kopa said once the process was finalised, it would significantly enhance service delivery in all the nine chiefdoms in the area. He said the decentralisation governance structure would allow direct development to the local people, adding that the creation of new districts would mean devolution of power in the governance system back to the ordinary people. The traditional leader added that the creation of the districts would speed up development in their respective chiefdoms and contribute to the economic growth of the country. The plan to divide Mpika into three districts was declared by President Edgar Lungu during his visit to the province earlier this year. And all the nine Chiefs and other stakeholders who attended the meeting agreed on Kalonge as the administrative centre for the first new district Lavushimanda. The traditional leaders further adopted Chalabesa as an administrative centre for the second forthcoming new district Kanchibiya. However, the adopted boundaries and names of the new two districts were expected for submission to Lusaka by this week.