Africa-Press – Zambia. Southern Province Minister, Cornelius Mweetwa says government is committed to ensuring gender equality and women empowerment despite the abolition of the Ministry of Gender. Mr Mweetwa reiterated government’s commitment to the attainment of 50 percent of women in decision making positions.
The Provincial Minister was speaking when a delegation led by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Representative Lionel Laurens, called on him at Provincial administration in Choma today.
He stated that President Hakainde Hichilema has already demonstrated his commitment to supporting women as evidenced from the appointment of the first female speaker.
“We would like to reiterate government’s commitment to gender equality and women empowerment beyond the structural existence of a ministry,” he said.
Mr Laurens said UNDP plans to support various parliamentary committees and Women’s caucus in promoting the implementation of legislation that protects women from all forms of Gender Based Violence (GBV).
And Gender Division Assistant Director for Gender Rights and Protection, Nchimunya Nkombo said the collaboration between UNDP and government wings will ensure sustainability of projects in the fight against GBV.
Meanwhile, Mr Mweetwa says government is determined to rehabilitate economic feeder roads in an effort to provide the much needed social and economic services to the rural communities.
Speaking when he graced at a combined UPND victory celebration and chief Chikanta’s Lwiindi traditional ceremony at Chungu palace in Kalomo yesterday, Mr Mweetwa observed that good road infrastructure is cardinal for social economic development.
Mr Mweetwa was responding to both chief Chikanta and Dundumwezi parliamentarian, Edgar Sing’ombe who appealed to government for the rehabilitation of the deplorable Kalomo- Chikanta road.
And Mr Mweetwa said the new dawn government is geared to revamp agriculture and livestock services in an effort to foster agriculture production. He has since urged all district agriculture coordinators to ensure all who registered under the Farmer Input Support Programme (FISP) get equal numbers of bags of fertilizer.
Meanwhile, the Minister promised to work with traditional leaders to so as to foster rural development. “We will work hand in hand with traditional leaders; they are vision carriers of development in their respective chiefdoms. That is the more reason why we want to increase the constituency development fund (CDF from the previous K1.6 million to 10.6 million by next year,” Mweetwa observed.
He called on CDF committees to consider doing bigger capital projects as opposed to sharing the CDF to each ward. Chief Chikanta’s Lwiindi ceremony was attended by seven other chiefs and was celebrated under the theme ‘agric crops diversification and water harvesting is the way forward’