|Entrance to Chambishi Mine|
By Paul Shalala in Chambishi
It is an area with all the necessary economic activity.
The mines are here and so are a number of tertiary industries that depend on mining.
It has two major mining companies and a smelter, all employing hundreds of workers.
This aside, Chambishi is also a multi facility economic zone which has seen millions of dollars being pumped in by the Chinese.
Going by seize and population, Chambishi has all the markings of a district.
The area has a population of over 51,000 and even has a sub-boma.
For years, this area with all its economic promise has been an annex of Kalulushi District.
No wonder people here want this industrious Township to stand on its own as a district.
“We have been crying for a district since 1991. President Frederick Chiluba almost gave us in 1991. The following presidents didn’t. Last year when President Lungu came to campaign, he promised that this year he will do it, we are waiting positively,” said Elvis Mwansa, a Chambeshi resident and historian.
The fight for a district status has been a silent one here.
In 1996, the then ruling party MMD decided to create district party structures in Chambishi separate from Kalulushi as a way of realising the district status.
20 years down the line, that status has not been met and almost all political parties have district structures in Chambishi.
Ernest Mwakaya has been involved in the push for a district in the area.
While a party official in MMD in 1996, he remembers how the area was almost upgraded.
“Some years back, President Chiluba called for a meeting over Chambishi. He was locked up in a meeting with officials for 45 minutes. We all agreed to be a district. But that never came to pass. Today we are hoping President Lungu will help us,” said Mr Mwakaya who is now the ruling party’s Chambishi District Chairman.
|Chambishi Copper Smelter|
Even civic leaders in the area know how anxious people are in the area for a district.
“We are waiting for our district. We have big mines here, milling plants, roads, a smelter and all the features of a district,” said Febby Mulenga, the newly re-elected Councillor for Lulamba ward.
ACM Limited, a local company has invested US$3 million to set up a milling plant which is expected to create 200 direct jobs for Chambishi residents.
According to the owners, the facility will have the capacity to produce five hundred bags of Millie meal per hour.
Indeed, Chambishi deserves to be a district though most people’s worry is that if its detached, Kalulushi will suffer economically as it only relies on Chibuluma mine.