Friday, September 21, 2012

Sata to oversee road projects

Sata to oversee road projects
By Moses Kuwema
Fri 21 Sep. 2012, 10:30 CAT

PRESIDENT Michael Sata has taken over the supervision of the Link Zambia 8000 project from the Ministry of Works and Supply.

And President Sata says his government will work with Livingstone Central UPND member of parliament, Reverend Howard Sikwela.

Launching the Link Zambia 8000 project and commissioning the commencement of works for the upgrading of the Lusaka Leopards Hill Road project via Chiawa to Chirundu district yesterday, President Sata further warned the Road Development Agency not to be cheated by some people over the awarding of road contracts.

"What I would like is to warn the RDA, nobody should come to you and cheat to say 'Sata has sent us to come and get contracts'. I have taken over RDA from the Ministry of Transport because I am bamba zonke. I would like to supervise all these roads," he said.

President Sata said the commencement of the works for the upgrading of the Lusaka Leopards Hill Road project via Chiawa to Chirundu should see the beginning of the PF in Lusaka Province.

He said once completed, the road would shorten the distance to Chirundu as people would not have to go through Kafue.

"This one is also going to link us with Feira and from there we go to Luangwa so that the local people can have access to tourism. There is no tourism for local people. We would like Chiawa confluence to enable our children have access to see wild animals. We have our children who have never seen buffaloes," President Sata said.

"Madam chieftainess Mukamambo, I have given you four roads, this is the first one. The second one will be Palabana Road, the third one will be Chalimbana Road. After these three roads, we are also going to give you a road using the old road from Chongwe to Kasisi and KK International Airport and this will make life of the farmers here… easier."

President Sata said the government would first work on roads in Lusaka before moving to other areas like Luapula Province.

"I am grateful to our Chinese brothers and sisters that they are not only building the roads, they are also assisting with some funds, slightly they may be expensive but we will be able to talk. Then we will move in Luapula Province where we have Nchelenge, Chienge, Luchinda, Kaputa, Mporokoso. Then we have Mansa, Chipili, Kawambwa, Mununga which will also go to Mporokoso. Then we will do Samfya, Luwingu via Ipusukilo," he said.

President Sata called on members of parliament, regardless of their political affiliation, to assist the government identify prominent roads to be worked on.

"Once we know the most prominent roads in your provinces then we should be able to… it depends, if we work very hard and the people who are supposed to give us money they see how this road is coming up… money will just be coming. But let's first show that we can do it," he said.

President Sata said the government had started fulfilling the campaign promises it made last year.

"What we told people during the campaign we are fulfilling. Have you seen our policemen and our soldiers? They are very well dressed. And somebody says we are not fulfilling our promises. What about the districts which we are creating?" President Sata asked.

President Sata later introduced the widow of former Bank of Zambia governor Valentine Musakanya and told the audience that he had promised her that he would work on the road before he died.

"This lady is the widow of my brother Valentine Musakanya. They are the first people who came to settle on this road. There was nothing and they have seen all the development coming and I said before I die I want to prove to my brother who is dead that my sister now cannot go to Kafue to go to Chiawa, she will use this one," he said.

Earlier, before giving his speech, President Sata invited Rev Sikwela and PF losing candidate for the Livingstone Central seat, Joseph Akafumba to the dais and told the audience that he would work with the duo in his government.
He said it was good that Akafumba and Rev Sikwela were not fighting despite the former having been defeated in the by-elections.

"They are not killing each other, you have seen them together, they are even standing next to each other so anybody preaching that… and because they have exhibited that they are willing to work together I am inviting them, I am going to work with them in government," President Sata said.

And chieftainess Nkomeshya said her prayers and those of her subjects had been answered through the government's fulfilment of its campaign promises.
She said she was misunderstood by the previous regime of the MMD under Rupiah Banda for having asked for development in her chiefdom.

"This day brings a lot of memories to me, as a person and as a leader of the community here. You recall Your Excellency that because of my requests, which were misunderstood, I was threatened to be removed from this throne, to which I have been on it for many years (41 years). I was threatened to be removed because I asked for the development. I was accused of having been your supporter because I put a question as to why should the people in this area continue to vote even in 2011 when our vote was not valid? They thought I was campaigning for you when I was talking about the development of this country. I prayed to my God that, 'indeed if I made a mistake to ask for Your people, let this throne be taken away, I won't mind. But if You gave me this throne on behalf of your people, You will defend it', and indeed my God defended it. On September 23, 2011 God answered our prayers," chieftainess Nkomeshya said.
She said Zambians helped her to maintain her throne but added that she was ready to risk her life and stand firm whatever the outcome of the elections.
Chieftainess Nkomeshya also thanked President Sata for inviting her to the official opening of parliament last year, saying the whole period of the MMD rule, she had never stepped into the Parliament Buildings.
She also called on the RDA to take the road project seriously.

"The materials that you will use should be of good quality and should stand a good test of time," she said.

Chieftainess Nkomeshya further said some people had been accusing President Sata of creating new districts in Lusaka so as to make her paramount chief, to which President Sata responded: "why not?"

The Link Zambia Project will result in the construction of about 2,290 kilometres of roads at an estimated cost of K7.9 trillion in the first phase of the project.

The second (2) phase will cover 3,049 kilometres of road network at an estimated cost of K11.25 trillion while the third (3) phase will involve upgrading 2,862 kilometres of road network with an estimated cost of K9 trillion. All these projects are expected to be carried out over a five-year period.

"The launch of this project signals the beginning of the revolution to modernise Zambia and subsequently convert it into a complete land linked country. This also fulfils one of the promises made by President Sata to the nation during his address to Parliament last year that government would embark on the construction of various roads which include the Lusaka Leopards Hill Road project via Chiawa to Chirundu," President Sata's special assistant for press and public relations George Chellah stated before the launch.

Several cabinet and deputy ministers and former vice-president Enoch Kavindele witnessed the launch.

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