PRISCILLA CHIPULU, Kasama
WORKS to upgrade Kasama Airport in Northern Province have stalled because of non-payment of a K22 million balance
to the contractor.
Ari Hui Shuian Construction Group cannot continue with the project because it has run out of funds.
Speaking when he toured the construction site, Kasama Central member of Parliament Kelvin Sampa said when upgraded, the airport will boost economic activities in the province.
He, however, said he has informed Minister of Finance Felix Mutati, who has acknowledged having released about K10 million for the project.
Mr Sampa said Mr Mutati has requested for a meeting with Minister of Communication and Transport Brian Mushimba on how to address the matter so that works at Kasama Airport can resume.
“I have talked to the Minister of Finance and he has acknowledged paying K10 million for the project, but he is not aware of the K22 million request,” he said.
Mr Sampa said many investors have shown interest to operate in Northern Province but are discouraged from doing so because of the long distance between Kasama and Lusaka.
Meanwhile, Ng’andu Consultancy Materials technician Rogers Bowa said once the funds are released, the construction of the airport will be completed before the end of this year.
Mr Sampa also toured Kasama General Hospital where he learnt that the institution has no surgeon.
He said the hospital needs a facelift as it was built in 1974 and it is now in a deplorable state.
Mr Sampa also said there is need to build district and first-level hospitals in Kasama to decongest the general hospital.