Government says it is working hard to ensure that all provinces in the country are developed including Western province as it can be seen from the positive changes taking place in the area.
Chief Government spokesperson Lieutenant Generalsaid the current road infrastructure development and construction and rehabilitation of schools and hospitals are countrywide.
He was Reacting to a story in the Post Newspapers were Mongu Diocese Bishop Paul Duffy is quoted to have said that Western province has not felt President Banda’s influence because he seems to be giving much attention to one part of the country the Eastern Province were he hails from.
In Statement to ZANIS in Lusaka, General Shikapwasha said it is wrong for Bishop Duffy to take a political line on the issue of development in the country.
He noted that Bishop Duffy contradicts himself when he says President Banda also gives much to the Mines on the Copper belt and Northern-Western Province.
He explained that these two Provinces are regions in Zambia which the President pays attention to not because they belong to Eastern Province, but because they belong to Zambia.
Gen Shikapwasha added that despite the many challenges that the country is faced with, government is doing everything possible to ensure that poverty levels are reduced considerably and that there are tangible developments countrywide.
He said the developments include the construction of Roads, Schools, Health centres and Health posts in all the nine provinces of the country.
He stated that the announcement by Home Affairs Minster Lameck Mangani that government has sourced K1.3 trillion to construct and complete the Mongu-Kalabo road which is a high priority project is one of the examples.
Lt. Gen Shikapwasha who is also Information and Broadcasting Minister further added that government will also spend another K90 billion on the construction of 5 schools and an extra K17 billion for construction of basic schools.
He noted that in the Health sector government is constructing and renovating staff houses at various health centres, a new District Hospital at Sinjembela in Shangombo and rehabilitating more female wards and mortuaries in Mongu, Kaoma, Sesheke, and Kalabo at a cost of K1.8 billion.
Meanwhile, Gen. Shikapwasha has said government stands ready to dialogue with the church on matters that pertain to the improvement of lives of people in the country.
He pointed out that this is evident by a deliberate government budget that funds institutions such as Orphanages and hospitals run by churches.
The Minister stated that as much as government appreciates criticism it is important that such criticisms do not become political fabrications in order to enhance the fortunes on those that are favoured.
Gen Shikapwasha said it is important for Bishop Duffy to leave the political decision of the country to Zambians who can see what the government is doing on the ground for them to make an informed judgment.
He reiterated government’s willingness to dialogue with any church anytime and adding that Bishop Duffy and SACCORD Director Lee Habasonda should be all embracing with especially diverse views expressed by all the major players in the political arena rather than taking sides.