KELVIN CHONGO, Lusaka
PRESIDENT Lungu has directed Copperbelt Minister Bowman Lusambo to quickly find alternative land for settlers in Ndolaâ€™s Dag HammarskjÃ¶ld where the new Ndola International Airport will be built.
And President Lungu has ordered Eastern Province Minister Makebi Zulu to ensure that no maize is exported outside the province before adding value to it.
Mr Lusambo said at State House yesterday shortly after presenting a 2016 fourth quarter report to President Lungu that the head of State underscored the need for the airport project to commence as a matter of urgency.
â€œAll the resources and everything is in place to commence the construction of the new airport, but the challenge of finding land for the settlers has delayed the project,â€ he said.
Mr Lusambo said President Lungu wants all the settlers to be given alternative land so that they continue with their normal lives.
â€œThe Patriotic Front government will not allow these people to suffer and will ensure that all of them are given land to settle on after being removed from the airport project land,â€ he said.
President Lungu also urged the Copperbelt provincial administration to facilitate diversification of Zambiaâ€™s economy from being copper dependent to one driven by agriculture.
Meanwhile, Copperbelt Province permanent secretary Elias Kamanga said government has found land to which Dag HammarskjÃ¶ld settlers will be moved.
And President Lungu has directed Mr Zulu to ensure that no maize is exported outside Eastern Province before adding value to it.
Mr Zulu announced this shortly after he presented a quarterly report to President Lungu.
President Lungu has observed that if only mealie meal is exported, the province will create jobs through the process of adding value to maize by milling it.
The President also wants Eastern Province to diversify from only growing maize to producing other crops such as soya beans and tobacco.
And President Lungu has urged Lusaka Province Minister Japhen Mwakalombe to stop the illegal allocation of land in the province.
President Lungu said he will not support any form of illegal land allocation in Lusaka.
â€œThe President has also told us to position ourselves for agro-processing and to ensure that agriculture becomes a pre-occupation of the people in Lusaka Province,â€ Mr Mwakalombe said.
Mr Mwakalombe also said no vendor will be removed from the streets before an alternative place has been found for them.
KELVIN CHONGO, Lusaka