HONE SIAME & CHAMBO NG’UNI, Chibombo
PRESIDENT Lungu says Zambia is on the move to remarkable economic development and no amount of distraction will stop the country’s smooth journey
to becoming a middle-income nation by 2030.
The head of State said time for politicking is over and that it is now time to deliver development and continue with the implementation of pro-poor policies.
He was speaking yesterday during the joint commissioning of the Katuba, Shimabala and Mumbwa toll plazas built at a cost of US$6.8 million.
The National Road Fund Agency projects a monthly revenue of over K18 million from the three toll plazas.
“Zambia is on the move. We have work to do and we will not allow anyone to distract us from the noble work of delivering on our promise to improve the lives of our people.
“Politics must have a season of intensity during campaigns and when a winner is announced, we must all move on and support the collective national agenda,” he said.
President Lungu said Government will not allow anyone to distract it from fulfilling its promise of improving the socio-economic welfare of citizens.
He said the tolling programme is one of the programmes aimed at raising the much-needed revenue for maintenance of roads and enhance economic activities countrywide.
He said Zambia will remain peaceful and under the dictates of the rule of law to ensure that sustainable economic development is guaranteed and that those who seek to disrupt law and order will face the full force of the law.
President Lungu said the construction of three toll plazas is part of Government’s roll-out plan to build toll plazas across the country’s road network and broaden the collection of revenue for infrastructure development.
“It should be noted that road tolling is not only being implemented in Zambia to over-burden the road users. It is a global norm of financing and management of roads,” President Lungu said.
He called on the travelling public to support the tolling programme by paying tolls to help Government improve the road network, reduce travel time, vehicle operating costs and guarantee increased road safety.
The head of State commended the Road Development Agency for delivering a successful project and showered accolades on the contractor, AVIC International Engineering Company, for the timely completion of the project.
And Minister of Housing and Infrastructure Development Ronald Chitotela said his ministry remains committed to improving road infrastructure in Zambia to motivate local and foreign investors to set up their businesses in various parts of the country.
Mr Chitotela also said Government has made strides towards the construction of a dual carriageway between Lusaka and Ndola.
Central Province Minister Sydney Mushanga said people in the region are happy with the massive infrastructure development being undertaken.
Meanwhile, President Lungu, who also met some Lenje chiefs in Central Province, called on Zambians to revisit their traditional values of looking after chiefs because Government has budgetary constraints to increase their subsidies.
President Lungu also urged the police to step up their efforts of cracking down on all arsonists that are instilling fear in investors and citizens through their barbaric acts of burning courts, markets and other public infrastructure.
Chief Chimuka of the Lenje people urged President Lungu to ensure perpetrators of arson are brought to book.
And President Lungu said journalists should be allowed to cover some of his closed-door meetings because they are conveyers of important statements he makes to the public.