$108m for KKIA released

THE Export-Import Bank of China (China Exim Bank) has released US$108 million initial payment for construction of the new Kenneth Kaunda International Airport (KKIA).
Minister of Transport, Works, Supply and Communications Yamfwa Mukanga said in Lusaka yesterday that the total cost of the project is US$360 million and works are expected to be completed in 2018.
Mr Mukanga said 95 percent of the drawing design has been done and works are expected to start in the next two weeks.
“We are not changing goal-posts but we are still committed to ensuring that KKIA comes up and that the people of Zambia can get the benefits,” he said.
Mr Mukanga dismissed as baseless fears by United Party for National Development president Hakainde Hichilema that funds for the project have disappeared.
The minister said the project is on course.
He said the money is coming from China Exim Bank straight to the contractor.
“I want to make it clear that the money is not coming from the Ministry of Transport, Works, Supply and Communications but from China Exim Bank to the contractor,” he said.
He wondered how the money that is going directly into the contractor’s bank account could disappear.
“Even if it is the government of Zambia that signed the loan, the money will move directly to the contractor.  For us is to see the results at the end of the project.
“The project is so big that we also have to rehabilitate the Zambia Air Services Training Institute as part of the ultra-modern international airport,” he said.
Works on the fire and rescue wing, VVIP lounge and control tower will begin in the next two weeks.  The site has already been cleared.
Mr Mukanga said the new KKIA airport is a massive investment which will also accommodate a hotel, shopping mall, a modern presidential lounge and carpark.

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