Zomba chiefs petition government on sub district: ‘Chingale is being side-lined’

Community members from Chingale area in Zomba led by chiefs have petitioned Zomba District Council to consider restoring the area as a Sub District as the only way to fully develop THE side-lined area.

Chiefs who represented Chingale communities

Speaking after delivering the petition to the District Commissioner Sub Traditional Authority Not who led concerned members said the area has been side-lined in many development activities.

“It appears no one is caring on how communities are struggling to get social services in the area.

Vulnerability levels is too much higher than any other areas in the district,” said STA Nkapita.

He said the area lacks basic social amenities, which makes it hard for civil servants who are posted to work there to deny the postings.

“One of the notable example that the area is being side-lined and that many households are experiencing extreme poverty is that some villages from Group Village Headman Mwangata which makes boundary with Blantyre chose to be part of Traditional Authority Lundu of Blantyre because their friends are enjoying development government through the council is providing to them, ” said Nkapita.

Nkapita added that this is promoting boundary wrangles between Zomba and Blantyre communities where recently there was a battle between them.

According to the letter Nyasa Times has seen, Chiefs are demanding for a sub district so that Chingale area should be independent and start implementing development activities on its own with support from Central government.

“There is no any attention by government through the council to address issues of health, education, agriculture, energy and transport sectors are facing in the area causing civil servants, extension workers and NGOs denying to work in the area,” reads part of the petition.

Group Village Headman Chikwenga also said in separate interview on challenges women in the area face due to under development.

She said safe motherhood programmes are compromised especially during rainy season as no ambulance and vehicle is able to transport patients who are referred to Zomba Central Hospital from health facilities found in the area.

“Some pregnant women deliver on their way to referral hospital because of long distance and shortage of transport to ferry them as the road is impassable during rainy season,” she added.

She further mentioned lack of electricity in many areas, shortage of portable water infrastructure development in public institutions such as schools, health centres, Extension Planning Areas ( EPAs) and road networks.

Concurring with Sub Traditional Authority Nkapita, Dorothy M’biza said the youths of the area are not benefiting from governments programs.

She said most of the job opportunities which could have been benefiting them are grabbed and favour people who are posted to work there and their relatives.

M’biza added that the area has no tertiary learning institution making it difficult for the underprivileged young people to access tertiary education or ICT services.

The district commissioner for Zomba  Dr Smart Gwedemula had a talk with the chiefs who represented Chingale communities in the council Chamber.

During the talks he had with the team, Gwedemula assured them that the council will sit down and look at the concerns which are bordering at several sectors.

He promised to address some of their concerns when funds are available.

The DC also said the council will link up with partners to start implementing their projects in the area.

“We will get back to the drawing table and see how many partners implementing activities in this area. For your own information, from today the council will not be dictated by partners on areas to implement their projects,” said Gwedemula.

But some chiefs expressed dissatisfaction with the response from Gwedemula.

However, they promised to wait patiently and see how the council will address their concerns.

Concerned citizens expect the petition to reach Minister of Local Government as soon as possible and receive the feedback within two months.

They told us that if they will not receive feedback on their concerns, they will ask for a permission to meet President  Lazarus Chakwera.

Chingale area has two constituencies namely Chingale and Lisanjala with the total population of over 80, 000 people.

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