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Infrastructure projects put on ice

PRESIDENT Lungu with Engineer John Phiri during the ground-breaking ceremony for the construction of houses for the Ministry of Home Affairs in Lusaka yesterday. PICTURE: MACKSON WASAMUNU

CHARLES CHISALA, Lusaka
GOVERNMENT has suspended the signing of new contracts for infrastructure development projects to stem financial hemorrhage and stabilise the economy.
And President Lungu has banned Government departments from procuring works or entering into contracts for goods and services for which there is insufficient budgetary allocations as approved by Parliament.
President Lungu said this in Lusaka yesterday in light of the economic challenges the country is facing triggered by external and internal factors.
He said the government will instead focus on the running projects.
The President said the government is re-aligning the financing of its ambitious infrastructure development programme as a response to the effects of these internal and external shocks.
The President directed Government ministries, provincial administrations and spending agencies to stop the procurement of or signing of contracts for new projects in various sectors of the economy, including the roads sector.
He was speaking to journalists during his first press conference at State House in Lusaka also attended by foreign dignitaries accredited to Zambia.
“Therefore, focus should be on the completion of ongoing projects; all government ministries, provinces and spending agencies should engage the Attorney General to review committed projects signed but not yet commenced with a view to deferring them where appropriate,” President Lungu said.
He directed Minister of Works and Supply Yamfwa Mukanga to embark on a phased approach in the implementation of road projects over a longer period and employ other options other than just the continuous use of bitumen in the construction of roads.
And the President has banned government departments from procuring works or entering into contracts for goods and services for which there is insufficient budgetary allocations as approved by Parliament.
This means all departments will have to work out their respective programmes,” he said.

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