… as Education PS Kalumba salutes Luanshya Council and Ndola Council, teachers seal housing deal.

MINISTRY of Education Permanent Secretary (PS) Jobics Kalumba says Luanshya Municipal Council is rewriting the history of Councils in Zambia by being trend setters in transforming government policy into action.

Dr Kalumba said the partnership between the education sector and the local authority in Luanshya, which has culminated into a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on housing development, was a clear demonstration that Luanshya Municipal Council was set to turn Government concepts into reality.

Speaking when he officiated during the Signing Ceremony between the Luanshya Municipal Council and Education Sector Stakeholders at the Technical Vocation Training College (TVTC) Multipurpose Hall in Luanshya, Dr Kalumba said the Luanshya Mayor Nathan Chanda and the Council management should be emulated by other municipalities for their efforts to address the housing stock shortage through partnership with stakeholders.

The PS commended Mayor Chanda for providing leadership and transforming Government’s housing policy into tangible action aimed at benefiting ordinary citizens. “President Edgar Lungu needs many of such leaders like Luanshya Mayor Nathan Chanda, who are focused on implementing and actualizing government policies in order to improve the welfare of citizens. Zambia needs men of such calibre to attain sustainable development,” Dr Kalumba said.

He appealed to teachers not to sell the land once they were empowered by the Council. Dr Kalumba appealed to local authorities throughout the country to consider coming up with partnerships similar to the one which Luanshya Municipal Council and the local education sector hard embarked on.

Speaking earlier Luanshya Mayor Nathan Chanda said the Council was set to sign similar MoUs with other stakeholders from the public, private and Non Governmental Sectors.

He said the MoU which of a period of five years was in line with the National Housing Policy 2020-2024, which directs local authorities to play an active role in addressing the national housing stock deficit apart from facilitating for citizen’s equitable access to land and supporting various initiatives aimed at providing decent housing to all Zambians by the year 2030.

The Mayor said the MoU was also in line with the ruling Patriotic Front (PF) Manifesto which promotes the developing of social housing schemes aimed at empowering citizens with better standards of living.

Under the MoU the Council would provide plots to the Education Sector stakeholders whose premium will be paid in instalments under some agreed upon terms and condition, which would be fulfilled within a specified period of time.

In short flexible payments will be allowed. Mayor Chanda explained that partnerships with stakeholders were in line with the Seventh National Development Plan and the Vision 2030, which is blue, prints for sustainable national development and the implementation of the President Edgar Lungu and the PF’s Government pro-poor policies.

A total of 800 teachers are expected to benefit from the MoU during the first phase of its implementation programme.

“Teachers are very important people who who needs to be appreciated through this Land empowerment programme which will even motivate them more to work. All of us be it Doctors, Mayors, MPs, Engineers including Presidents go through these important people,” said Mr Chanda.

Luanshya District Commissioner (DC) Patrick Maipambe commended the Council for promoting equitable land access to stakeholders such as teachers. Mr Maipambe said once teachers were empowered with land the residents of Luanshya will benefit because the move would facilitate for creating a conducive environment for providing improved and quality education to the learners.

Copperbelt Province Education Officer Felix Ngoma said the teaching fraternity was happy with the signing of the MoU. He said the MoU it was in line with Ministry of Education’s Copperbelt region Strategic Plan , whose six areas of focus includes innovation which challenges the status call in order to improve the welfare of both the teachers and the learners.

Luanshya District Education Board Secretary Chilombo Kabwe commended the Council for the coming up with partnerships with some strategic stakeholders aimed at improving the living standards to residents.

He said the MoU was going to motivate teachers in Luanshya, who now have a chance to become land lords after being given opportunities to access plots.

Mr Kabwe said the financial sector should consider coming up with financing facilities for teachers once they access land from the local authority.

He added that teachers were now changing the mindset as far as personal financial management was concerned such that they were now forming cooperatives which were now empowering teachers and creating employments for other members of the public.

Presenting a vote of thanks on behalf of the stakeholders Ghandi Primary school head teacher Hudson Mwiinga thanked Luanshya Mayor Nathan Chanda and the Debs Mr Kabwe for coming up with this idea.

Mr Mwinga said the 1,900 Luanshya based school teachers were optimistic that the MoU, whose theme is: ‘Every teacher a land lord,’ would go a long way to change their lives for the better.

Mr Mwiinga said the MoU would bring the following benefits to the teachers: security, which every citizen needs, assured sustainability after being retired from employment, and enhanced commitment to service coupled with a spirit of patriotism.

Mayor Nathan Chanda and Acting Town Clerk Chatiwa Nsandula signed the MoU on behalf of Luanshya Municipal Council, while the Luanshya DEBS Chilombo Kabwe signed on behalf of the Education Sector Stakeholders.

Luanshya Deputy Mayor Golden Mulenga signed as a witness on behalf of the Council while Provincial Education Officer Felix Ngoma appended his signature as a witness for the Education Sector stakeholder.

Luanshya Municipal Council legal officer David Phiri also signed as a witness on behalf of the local authority.

Those who attended the function also included Luanshya based school heads, principals of public colleges of education and district education secretaries from all ten Copper belt based districts.