NKOMBO KACHEMBA and MWILA NTAMBI, Mufulira
PRESIDENT Lungu yesterday launched the reconstruction of the Ndola-Mufulira-Mokambo road with a caution to Patriotic Front legislators against meddling in
the implementation of projects on the Copperbelt.
The President said he has received reports that some party officials are interfering with the recently launched projects, which has derailed the starting of construction works.
“I am saying this because I have heard that some people; the two members of Parliament for Chingola, Mr Nkhuwa [Matthew] and Mr Chilombo [Chali] and the mayor for Chingola, got entangled in the process of recruiting labour. They were in the forefront of trying to get jobs on the project,” he said.
President Lungu recently launched the Zambia Township Road Project in Chingola and the construction of the Copperbelt International Airport in Ndola.
The 79.8 kilometre Ndola-Mufulira-Mokambo road project is expected to cost K701.9 million.
The President urged parliamentarians to leave the recruitment of workers to local communities and the provincial leadership.
President Lungu also urged the Road Development Agency (RDA) to ensure that contractors engaged to work on the projects are from within the Copperbelt and not from Lusaka.
He said RDA must also ensure that 20 percent works of the contracts are given to local contractors to empower them with jobs.
“Stop this practice of looking for contractors from Lusaka, we don’t want Lusaka to interfer with this project,” he said.
President Lungu said the Ndola-Mufulira-Mokambo road has been in a deplorable state for a long time but that government has finally secured funds for the project.
“I drove on this road and I know how bad it is. I spent two hours driving on it,” he said.
And President Lungu has urged Copperbelt residents to safeguard the infrastructure government is building in the province.
He said vandalism is retrogressive and should not be entertained and that anyone found tampering with the infrastructure will face the wrath of the law.
Minister of Infrastructure Development and Housing Ronald Chitotela said the scope of works on the Ndola-Mufulira-Mokambo road project will include ripping off the surface of the current road and building a new one.
And earlier at Simon Mwansa Kapwepwe International Airport, President Lungu warned Lusaka-based businessmen against interfering with contractors on the Copperbelt.
He also promised to make frequent visits to the province to show gratitude to the people for the confidence they have shown in his government.
President Lungu said he will focus on development and that he will travel to Dundumwezi in Southern Province on Tuesday to inspect the road being constructed in the constituency.