WORKS and Supply Deputy Minister Mwimba Malama has said that President Michael Sata was a courageous leader for embarking on a countrywide vigorous infrastructure development programme, which the MMD had failed to do during its 20 years in power.
“We have had leaders and it’s not politicking, for the past 20 years this nation was stuck in terms of infrastructure. 20 years we were stuck. Most of these things we are seeing were done under UNIP. MMD took over, 20 years, we never saw a new building coming up in Mpika,” he said.
“The people of Southern Province have been crying for Bottom Road, thank God that the President, who is very courageous has given them that Bottom Road, thank God that the President, who is very courageous, has given them the road from Monze to Niko, thank God that what is going on in Western Province will also help to create employment,” he said.
He was also happy to note that works on the roads leading to Nabwalya, Malashi to Mukungule and Lufila areas would start soon.
Mr Malama was equally elated that all the chiefdoms in his constituency which had no mobile phone network would be connected by the Zambia Information Communication and Telecommunications Authority (ZICTA) in phases one and two this year and next year.
And Mr Malama has urged AVIC International, the contractor working on the L 400 road project, not to wait for utility companies to completely remove their structures on road reserves before it proceeds with its work.
Speaking in an interview in Lusaka at the weekend, Mr Malama said he instructed AVIC International during a meeting, which was also attended by officials from utility companies like ZESCO, Lusaka Water and Sewerage Company (LWSC) and Zamtel in Lusaka last week on Tuesday.
Mr Malama called for the meeting after a realization that the progress on the L 400 project, among others, was somewhat being slowed down by the presence of infrastructure belonging to utility companies in selected parts where roads like Chilimbulu and Burma were being expanded.
“We advised the contractor to concentrate on those areas where they can do the works without first waiting for the utility companies to move on. We agreed and we told them to speed up things,” Mr Malama said.
Mr Malama said the contractor and utility companies knew and were doing what they were supposed to do to enable the project progress but attributed the hurdles that had befallen the L 400 programme to the miscommunication between the contractor and the utility companies.
He said the contractor and utility companies had different periods in which to do certain activities.
“It’s just a matter of reconciling the periods of doing whatever they are supposed to do, that is the contractor and the utility companies,” Mr Malama said.
Mr Malama, however, said the utility companies had assured him that they were on course in relocating their structures found on road reserves.