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PRESIDENT Lungu during the official launch of the over K400m Zambia National Service (ZNS) heavy duty earthmoving equipement at Chamba Valley in Lusaka yesterday. PICTURES: EDDIE MWANALEZA/STATE HOUSE, STARFRANCE ZULU

Lungu rolls out equipment

PRESIDENT Lungu yesterday commissioned heavy duty earth-moving equipment worth over K400 million for the Zambia National Service (ZNS) to be used under the Patriotic Front (PF) administration’s ambitious programme of developing and opening up rural areas.
And President Lungu has transferred the Rural Roads Unit (RRU) from the Ministry of Transport, Works, Supply and Communications to ZNS under the Ministry of Defence.
Clad in ZNS military fatigue, President Lungu, who arrived at the Chamba Valley cantonment around 11:15 hours, said the procured equipment will be deployed mostly to rural Zambia to open up regions that have until now been difficult to access.
President Lungu said Government realises that the hardships that citizens face, especially those in rural areas, can only be alleviated if they have easy access to markets, health and educational facilities.
“Government cannot afford to continue paying a blind eye to the role that our citizens in the rural areas play. This segment of our populace continues to render a significant contribution to the growth of our economy, especially in the agriculture sector where they have continued to produce food even under difficult circumstances,” President Lungu said.
He said Government will continue to work for the common benefit of the people that voted for the PF into a position of power, mainly to serve them.
The President said Government has identified ZNS to be a useful and dependable vehicle to assist the nation in achieving the goal of opening up the rural parts of the country.
“To that effect, we have procured equipment worth more than K400 million for the service [ZNS] to construct durable and reliable feeder roads, bridges and crossing points throughout the country,” the President said.
He said ZNS will not only be a cost-effective entity for government, but will also help the nation achieve the goal of opening up rural areas in record time.
“As we are all aware, the resilience and discipline of the men and women in uniform will enable them to effectively operate even in the toughest of areas. As Commander-in-Chief of the armed forces, I have no doubt that we will achieve the intended results,” the head of State said.
President Lungu urged ZNS to exercise maximum accountability and transparency in the manner it shall utilise the equipment and ensure that it benefits the Zambian people.
And President Lungu has detached RRU from the Ministry of Transport, Works, Supply and Communication and placed it under the umbrella of ZNS.
President Lungu said the reason for relocating RRU is to further strengthen and enhance the capacity of ZNS to timely deliver road infrastructure to the people of Zambia.
President Lungu said the PF is there for all including those who are opposed to it.
And ZNS commandant Lieutenant General Nathan Mulenga warned that lazy and unpatriotic officers. “We are all witnesses of this new fleet of equipment that has been given to us at a great cost. I want to remind you that Government has done its part. If we became a committed, dedicated and patriotic group of people, from our own hard work, our salaries and conditions of service would, without saying, be improved,” Lt Gen Mulenga said.
“I want to tell you that Government is not a problem. Laziness, dishonesty, sabotage, absenteeism. I was not appointed commandant to watch over a very disloyal and undisciplined group of people whose intentions are to bring down Government. I have warned you. I shall kick you out,” Lt Gen Mulenga warned.
The equipment includes excavators, concrete mixers, double drum compactor, folk lifts, sheep’s foot rollers, low beds, vacuum tankers and tipper trucks among others.