CHIEFS in Southern Province have promised to work with President Edgar Lungu and the PF Government in order to develop the region.
And President Lungu told the chiefs that he would not look at the voting pattern when he delivering development projects in the country.
He said this yesterdeay in Sinazongwe when paid a courtsey call on Chief Chipepo of Siavonga and Chief Chikanta of Kalomo who said that Southern Province chiefs were ready to work with the Government of the day.
The President was in Sinazongwe to re-commission the Collum Coal Mines Industries Limited which was closed some years back because the owners failed to pay the mineral royalty tax to the Zambia Revenue Authority(ZRA).
“This mine was also failing to employ qualified workers and did not provide them with protective clothing and and was shrouded in rampant pollution,” President Lungu said.President Lungu said there was a record of frequent accidents which also led to deaths of some workers. President Lungu said he decided to reopen the mine on a personal risk, adding that he had decided to put his neck on a block if anything went wrong at the mine.
“The owners of this mine have promised me that they will adhere to the mining safety regulations,” he said.
And President Lungu has since directed Deputy of Mines, Energy and Water Development Richard Musukwa to ensure that Collum Coal Mines adheres to the mInning safety regulations before they commence operations.
President Lungu said he would take development to areas where it was needed most without paying attention to voting patterns.
And Southern Province minister, Nathaniel Mubukwanu, said the recommissioning of Collum Coal Mine Industries Limited will provide employment among youths in the province.
Mr Mubukwanu said he was grateful to President Lungu for developing Southern Province despite receiving fewer votes during the January 20 presidential by-elections which ushed him into office.
“Your Excellency here in Southern Province we have a challenge of drought which has affected the maize crop for 2014/2015 farming season,” he said.
Mr Mubukwanu however said it was gratifying that he had received information that Government had allocated 50 metric tonnes of maize to each district of Southern Province. He said the province was hopeful that once it received the maize grain from Government, the impact of drought would not be felt in Southern Province.
Chief Chikanta, who represented the chiefs, congratulated President Lungu for reopening the mine, adding that it would creat employment opportunities for the youths in the area.
And Sinazongwe Member of Parliament Richwell Siamunene said President Lungu’s gesture of opening the mine indicated that he was a President for all Zambians.