Reports of water blues in Kitwe’s Wusakile township and other urban areas , that have led to protests this week are not new.
In one of my many visits to these areas, I personally experienced and was told moving testimonies by our mothers on the difficulties they go through due to water shortages. The water situation has reached a critical stage and wonder why we have not even declared it an emergency.
As for Wusakile township, that issue was heavily politicised by our competitors in the Patriotic Front during last year’s local government by-election when they told the electorates not to vote for our candidate because as an opposition civic leader, we would not deliver development such as addressing the water and sanitation problems in the area.
In their usual blackmail like they have done in all by-elections, the PF cheated the electorate in Wusakile township that they would engage Mpelembe Drilling Company to sink boreholes and address the water problems in the area. This has not happened as all of us can see on the many media outlets. As is typical of the PF, after cheating the electorate, the PF have run away, leaving the water problem together with many other challenges unattended.
One would have thought that our colleagues in the PF would for once stop playing games with people’s lives. The blackmailing of voters by telling them that they would only receive certain services and development once they voted for their candidates is criminal at the very least.
In fact, hardly a month has passed from the time the last round of needless by-elections, people in these constituencies and wards where elections were held and the PF emerged victorious, are already complaining about abandoned projects after the PF got the electoral votes they wanted. The culture of blackmailing voters with impunity and later abandon them is not only a sin, but it creates a complete lack of voter confidence in the electoral system and foments anarchy.
Our call to our colleagues in the PF is to immediately fulfill their electoral promise to the Wusakile residents and other such townships by providing them with quality drinking water. It is shameful that our people should be suffering when their feet are literally in water. If you have been to Wusakile, the township is on the banks of the Kafue River. One would have thought that these would be some of the key projects the PF would invest resources in instead of by-elections.
The UPND demands that this water situation in Wusakile and other townships be declared an emergency, and since it is clear the PF cannot deliver, other partners should therefore come on board.
Dr Canisius Banda
Vice President – Politics