MP OF THE WEEK
Petauke Central MP open to all
… Independent Emmanuel Jay Banda realises dream, seeks development
“EMMANUEL be easy on yourself,” sometimes I told myself. I was never more determined to reach my goals at that point that I gave it my best.
I hardly slept, I hardly rested,” the Petauke Central Member of Parliament Emmanuel Banda has said.
“Today, I’m looking back and thanking God for being my strength and guide.
“I’m inspired to work even harder for the people who trusted me enough to elevate me to this position.
We shall together work towards a better Petauke.”
The youtful lawmaker has given words of encouragement to young people who may be doubting their journey and efforts in developing themselves and achieving their goals.
He says: “Never give up!”
The Petauke Central Member of Parliament is more commonly known as Emmanuel ‘Jay Jay’ Banda and had been an active member of the Patruotic Front but at the time of election nominations, the party opted to field Dora Siliya forcing Mr Banda to go the independent route, following the massive support he had on the ground.
Following his August 12 victory, the MP has called for a multi-sectoral approach in order to enhance a common development agenda in the constituency.
Mr Banda says the Constituency will only become the envy of many others, if all stakeholders come together , share their ideas and resources towards developing the area.
The lawmaker said in an interview that while others are business people and others serve as casual worker , among others, they are all important when it comes to pursuing the developmental goals for the constituency.
“We are all important irrespective of the sector where we belong. None of us can be done away with when seeking success in all aspects if we have to bring development to the area,” Mr Banda said.
The Petauke Central lawmaker was speaking during a retirement mass for a Mr. Emmanuel Sangulukani held at St. Oscar’s Catholic Church in Petauke recently.
Mr Banda thanked the electorate for giving him the mandate to represent them in Parliament, adding that his portfolio calls for higher service to the electorates.
He pledged to sacrifice his best and serve the people of Petauke Central with humility and dedication to duty.
“I want to appreciate every one of you for entrusting me with a huge responsibility of being your voice in Parliament. I stand ready to diligently deliver the much needed services for the goodness of our Constituency,” Mr Banda said.
He caused a social media stir qhen he posed with his children at the National Assembly Grounds and kn the Parliamentary chamber.
Mr Banda is know to be a down-to-earth and hard working person who is committed to development of his constituency.
In a quest to appreciate the many challenges that some township schools are faced with and map up a road map, tye MP visited some schools.
“To have these challenges worked on and uplift the face of our Peta-UK I, accompanied by Petauke Council Chairman, Acting DC and the DEBS today undertook school infrastructure inspections at Petauke and Mizyu Primary Schools,” he recently shared.
Some of his discoveries were that:
- At Petauke Primary School I was dismayed with the high level of enrolment; 1,062 boys and girls 1,175 totaling 2,237. The Head Teacher outlined some of the challenges as below;
- Insufficient desks and Teacher’s Tables & Chairs
- Vandalized Glass Panes
- Cracked Floors and Walls.
In responding to these challenges, I emphasized the need for my office, Council Chairman’s and other government offices to work hand in hand. I stated that development starts with the education sector as it’s a Game Changer. I emphasised that as a new team in leadership my office, Council Chairman’s office, DC’s as well as the Councilors will ensure that some of the challenges highlighted by the Head Teacher are addressed. And as a starting point, I offered transport to ferry planks and desk frames to Petauke Boarding Sec School’s T & D workshop that the school had organised in an effort to make some desks and alleviate the problem of furniture. I further donated to the school a sum of K1,500 to facilitate for the purchase of Bolts & Nuts for use on the Desks.
As a team, we are determined to address the stated challenges and change the face of the school and rise the morale of learners and staff.
- At Mizyu Day and Primary School, I was astonished with the congestion of pupils in classes as one class has as many as 125 pupils due to high enrolment which is 4,051. In trying to alleviate the insufficient learning space, the school management has moulded bricks in an effort to construct a 1×3 CRB. Here too the Head Teacher lamentated on the challenge of desks and Teacher’s Tables & Chairs. And after sampling 2 classes, I was disheartened to indeed witness how pupils seat during lessons. In my view, such conditions are demotivating and in-human. The quality of handwriting leaves much to be desired owing to learners sitting on the floor which is not only cold but furthermore cracked.
To address some of these challenges especially for learning space, I pledged to the school management and learners to utilise the Constituency Development Fund (CDF) to construct a 1×3 CRB. The problem of desks will also receive attention and pledged to be a thing of the past before the year ends.
The MP is ready to majntain an open door policy that will see development reach all Constituents.
“I know the campaign was not easy. Most of you encountered a lot of things like threats and the like but you persevered,” he said. “Even me, I passed through a lot of difficulties but you supported and encouraged me to remain strong. We worked together until last month when we managed to get independence for Petauke Central which was not easy.”
Banda said the Petauke Central seat does not belong to him alone but to all the people in the constituency.
“You are the ones with the power. We came here (at Petauke Boarding Secondary School) in March and you told me to contest the seat which I did. I cannot say much but let me say that I am just like a signpost for you,” he said. “If I fail it means you have also failed. So let us work together. I have an open-door policy where I want to work with everyone.”
Banda also recalled that there were some losing candidates whose campaigns were based on character assassination.
“There were a lot of things that were said against me and at some point, I wanted to go on radio to respond but I was advised by elders that I should not respond,” he explained. “I want to assure you that I am still your child and there is no child who can claim to be bigger than the parents.”
Banda urged the people not to fear him.
“You have to differentiate between me and my predecessor (Dora Siliya). That one was an honourable whilst I am just your signpost because you are the honourables. Please counsel me if I go wrong so that we develop our place. Don’t fear me. Approach me anytime,” he said.
Banda said he would build offices for councillors in Petauke Central.
“We want all the councillors to have offices so that people can know where to meet them. The councillors should realise that they were put in those offices by the people. I am appealing to councillors to help in securing land for the offices,” he said.
Banda also pledged to work with the United Party for National Development (UPND) government because of its good policies.
He also informed the people that he together with other independent MPs met President Hakainde Hichilema.
Banda urged the headmen to work with the UPND government so that they can realise development.