NOEL IYOMBWA writes
SHE is one of the few civic leaders from the ruling Patriotic Front party in an opposition dominated Keembe Constituency in Chibombo District, Central Province. This week we feature PF’s Chaloshi Ward councillor Christerbel Kalasa.
I was voted into office as the councillor for Chaloshi Ward in Keembe Constituency, in Chibombo district in 2016.
I think what motivated me to go into politics is God himself. Every time I would sit alone, I could hear the voice of God speak to me and convince me that I ccould actually be a good politician.
People around me as well played a role in making me realise that I can do it. And the other thing is that I always want to be part of the decision-makers.
I want to see change; I want to help out and all this can only happen if I become a civic leader because I will sit on that table and be part of the decision-making. Above all, I think I was born a leader.
I am going somewhere. With the will of God, I know I am heading somewhere.
The first achievement that I scored when I got into office was to mobilise funds from the community and stakeholders within my area to complete the maternity annex at Twalumba Clinic.
Seventy percent of the works were done on the said building to complete the maternity annex.
I had to get my Ward Development Fund of K20,000.
Stakeholders like Sunshine Seeding and Fringilla also came on board. I also organised a fundraising dinner where the community and the people around came to support the good cause and we raised something like K50,000.
With that the maternity annex came to a completion and the First Lady, Mrs Esther Lungu, was the guest of honor at the opening ceremony of the maternity annex.
The other achievement is piped water in Mwayasunka Township. We used to have hand pumps in the area.
Women and children used to move with heavy containers getting water from community boreholes.
I didn’t like it and the fact that I had piped water at my house, I use to feel bad when I saw my fellow women queuing for water.
I had to apply for 2017 Community Development Funds (CDF) and I remember I was given K80,000. So I had to change two community hand pumps into submersible pumps.
The community came on board and each household contributed K500 to make sure we bought everything that was needed so that people could have piped water.
And today I am proud to say my people are happy and struggling for water is a story of the past.
I am yet to do roads and refuse bay using my 2018 CDF.
CHALLENGES AS COUCILLOR
There are a lot of challenges I face. Being a councillor in rural area is hard. You can’t compare a councillor in an urban area and the one in a rural area.
Councillors in rural area face a lot of challenges. For example, if you fail to attend a funeral or burial, then you are a bad leader.
If a member of the community is sick, you will be asked to take them to the clinic, or look for transport. Even in the middle of the night they will call you.
Some community members will come to you to ask for food, money, school fees and other things.
It’s impossible to be rich if you are a true politician. Imagine my allowance is K3,000 but to be honest, I spend more than K8,000 per month just to attend to people’s needs.
I was living a comfortable life before I got into politics but now, I am a broke politician because looking after people is not an easy task.
A true leader will sacrifice, spend extra more just to make things right and make some people happy.
Councillors around the country face a lot of challenges on a daily basis and it’s not something to smile at.
Another challenge that I face in my line of duty is slow response from council officers and delays in executing works by our officers.
I wonder why most of council officers are so inefficient. Implementation of works is another story for another day.
CHALLENGES OF THE PEOPLE
The challenge my ward is facing is accommodation. You know Chaloshi Ward is surrounded by commercial farmers like Zambeef, Fringilla, Sunshine, Golden Valley Wangwa Farm just to mention a few.
The only area which is owned by the council or government in Chaloshi Ward is Mwayasunka Township which has less than 200 households.
People here are suffering as far as accommodation is concerned. People here sleep like animals.
The people of Chaloshi don’t have the place they can call their own. All land is in the hands of the white farmers.
And on this one, I would love my government to look into this matter and I know that it’s a right for any Zambian to have a home and that’s what the people of Chaloshi don’t have; a right to a home.
Most of the farmers in my area have huge chunks of land but are not using it. I am asking my listening government to come to the aid of people of Chaloshi Ward by finding them land where they can build houses and have something they can call their own.
My future in politics looks bright for sure. I am going somewhere. With the will of God, I know I am heading somewhere.