Ms Edith Nawakwi with Simon Zukas (l)
Ms Edith Nawakwi with Simon Zukas (l)

Government finds as unfair and unfortunate remarks attributed to veteran politician, Simon Zukas, that the road construction projects being implemented country-wide is for political gain and not economic benefit.

The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting Services Public Relations Unit in a statement issued to media in Lusaka today says it is surprising that such a misleading and misplaced statement can come from a former Cabinet Minister who knows very well that every government is voted into power to deliver development to the people in line with its party manifesto.

The statement wondered whether Mr Zukas, who served in the Chiluba administration, is now telling the nation that the MMD was politicking when it built schools, roads or hospitals.

“If they were not politicking then, why should they say we are politicking now when we’re building the Mongu/Kalabo road, have tarred the Solwezi/Chavuma road and embarked on a robust road construction programme under the Link Zambia 8,000,” the statement reads in part.

The statement stated that it was unfortunate that a former Cabinet Minister could choose to mislead the nation by divorcing infrastructural development from economic development.

Mr Zukas was challenged if he is flying and not using the same roads constructed by government.

“Every well-meaning Zambian is able to clearly see that road construction has no other benefits other than economic benefits to the people of Zambia,” it states.

The statement says Mr Zukas ought to be reminded that the ongoing road construction projects the PF government has embarked upon is not an afterthought but a pre-requisite to national development.

“Our agenda in this regard is clear and precise. We have embarked on a rigorous and vigorous programme to rehabilitate and upgrade the existing road network including feeder roads in all districts. We’re also constructing additional inter-provincial and inter-district roads to open up the country to facilitate the movement of people, goods and services for accelerated development,” it said.

It said under the Link Zambia 8000, government was constructing ring roads around major cities such as Lusaka, to decongest the central business districts so that Zambia is transformed from the so-called “landlocked” to a “land-linked” country for sustainable social and economic development.

“It is, therefore, hypocrisy of the highest order for Mr Zukas who once served Government at a high level, to politicise the development programmes government is rolling out to improve people’s living standards and the general outlook of the country,” it reads.

It said the government remains resolute to delivering on its development agenda in which road infrastructural development is primary.

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75 COMMENTS

    • FORGET ABOUT THE IDI0T AND JUST CONTINUE CONSTRUCTING ROADS. PF STARTED CONSTRUCTING ROADS FROM THE WORD, GO AND THEY NEVER STOPPED. HOW CAN SOME IDI0T SAY THEY ARE BUILDING ROADS FOR POLITICAL REASONS. WHAT A STUP1D COMMENT! IS IT JUST BECAUSE HH THE ONE YOU WISHED TO WIN AND GIVE YOU A JOB NEVER WON?

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    • The best way to stop people thinking like this is,

      Let the constractions be made at normal steady rate for people to see that the gvt plans before major projects

      and also lets see local contractors not chiness even when job is straight foward just wanting to have shares

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    • Zukas raises a good point!!,,, its like doing a job which you are paid for but you still want to be praised, Governments works for the people and government is always paid,, so Government must be thankful to the people for employment and the money not the other way round

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    • @Nostradamus
      please my friend i getting text messeges from you long lost nephew George chellah,, he cant get through on your phone, did you block his number or what??,,, please my friend, mwaana ni mwaana,, i know he wasnt calling you when he was in power, but forgive him, you a parent, he needs your help now than ever before

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    • PF don’t throw stone at every dog which barks or else you will not reach the destination. Zukas is a broke man after he sold a big mass of land to his stup.d man Badcock from Zimbabwe, who is not friendly to Linda and Balmoral people. The chi-man has very big land but denies pupils to pass through his farm from Linda and his own workers to Balmoral . The government should do something to stop this man from unnecessarily.

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    • This unfortunately is an honest and real problem..the infrastructure development widely sang about is in wrong places and riddled with corruption.

      We need to appreciate the facts..I completely agree with him and there are many who think like hom.

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    • Leave UPND alone and Stop beakering on UPND, talk about PF Lungu …..mango appointments by Rupiah

      PF is hijacked

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    • What is wrong with gaining political mileage? Isn’t that what democracy entails – to justify your stay in government? What is wrong with measuring your performance as PF by what you are doing in the construction of those roads?

      If Mr. Zukas said what he is alleged to have said, then isn’t that kudos and proof that the public is actually watching and is aware of what you are doing as PF? It shouldn’t come as a surprise that the Zambian electorate will go to the polls in 2016 and vote to retain you in office. That is political mileage. Why should you apologize or feel bad about that?

      Don’t try to win the 2016 election by rigging, as you are already accused to have done in 2015. Win by constructing roads and other public infrastructure. That is political mileage.

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    • MBALA WOMAN WITH TUMOUR NEEDS HELP.

      There is an issue which needs urgent attention not this ZUKAS story.

      ZWD has a story of a 22 years old woman from Mbala, who has a huge facial tumour thats needs urgent surgical attention, other wise she is going to die.

      PF government is fully aware of her condition but it has been inept to assist this poor woman for sure and yet she is in a PF strong hold. Her MP is also docile, he /she should have brought this matter to the attention of social department or Ministry of health sooner than later.

      I will be doing my part by donating, so please lets all donate for a good cause to help help this poor woman undergo an operation in Lusaka urgently.

      If interested to donate go to ZWD for full details on where donations should be sent.

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    • The Kaloba nkongole roads are just a well planned Gimic to steal money from the so called Euro bond.We need Human development oriented development.

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    • @ndobo spot on! Zukas always tells it as it is! Unfortunately, it us the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting Services Public Relations Unit who are civil servants who are supposed to be apolitical are the ones who have responded to Zukas! Mind you Zukas is a qualified Civil Engineer with many yeas of experience!

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    • Ndobo first and foremost the government did not ask to be praised however if one of the key objective is to deliver development and if they are meeting that objective there is nothing wrong to give them a part on the back. Secondly any government must score political mileage by fulfilling campaign promises so as to win confidence from the electorates for the sake of being re-elected. Remember the MMD was in power for 20 years but failed to build most of these roads. PF started building the roads from inception. I will applaud them for that and I see nothing wrong.

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    • @ 1.11 Wanzelu

      Don’t you sound as though you are jumping the gun? You make reference to the inept PF government. Are they that bad, I wonder. Or is this merely Opposition propaganda?

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  1. The problem is not the infrastructure development. The question is that is Zambia getting value for money from these contracts?

    How can the new terminal for Kenneth Kaunda international airport cost US$300m?

    No where in the world can you pay that amount just for a terminal excluding runways.

    The per kilometre cost of these roads is well above international cost.

    Who is getting the kickbacks? Zambians will pay for these loans forever.

    Upto today Zambia has not completed paying the loans for Tazara. What is the country benefiting from Tazara. Absolutely nothing.

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    • Hear, hear! Nothing more, nothing less, this is ALL Zukas is saying – too many “kick-back” sangwapo projects; I too am still in shock after reading the cost-slip of LUN International TERMINAL ! Cry Mother Afrika…

      ****

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    • Yes the cost per km is high. I remember Mutati raising the same question under MMD. Have the road specifications changed? In my time lime was used for soil stabilisation or no lime at all but I have seen them use cement in large quantities. In addition there is more emphasis on road drainage unlike in the past (in Zukas’ time) when it was quite normal to see roads with no drainage at all.

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    • I wonder how simple minded some of you bloggers are. Surely do you still want the people of Kalabo to be using canoes? In PF we value giving those people a road so that they do away with peddling but move on a world class road.

      The people of Chama can now hope to travel on a tar marked road instead of foot paths. The people of Gwembe can hope you have their bottom road completed instead using a road full of gullies.

      Here in Lusaka the people of Kuku can now easily connect to Kabwata all these bwana is value. What type of value for money are you looking for?

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    • # Engineer – you have raised very important points and really this is the sort of debate I would expect from an engineer like you. I also do wonder how a building alone would possibly cost $300m. Its either Zambia has incompetent personnel to negotiate on behalf of the Govt or someone is receiving backhanders. The biggest bone of contention here is that why 98% of contractors are Chinese and foreign? Shouldn’t be Zambians be building even though at a slow rate?

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    • Are you serious $300m this is how much it cost, this real being unpatriotic to the nation. You even deny us jobs, so where will the next breed of contractors come from – China. What is Parliament doing about these con-men.

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  2. The road projects are also a means to siphon government money, they pretend to work while stashing millions of dollars overseas. Preference of Chinese contractors is a very good sign of intent to defraud government.

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    • What is that Bemba saying which says something like a person who is working in a field can eat some of the produce he is harvesting.

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    • Chinese are building bullet trains in USA, are they stealing? The western contractors you may be preferring are some of the worst corrupt one. For them corruption lead to even changing governments.

      So please wake up and don’t bring up that cheap neo-colonial backward mind-set that paint Chinese black to the rest but in the night they go to China to beg for Chinese money to prop up their poorly managed economies

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    • @ Sinazeze Bullet

      Instead of making “neo-*****ical” 5tupid comments, just consider where and how much Chinese money is invested in the west and how much and where is invested in Africa.
      As to “poorly managed economy”, just look around you.
      Great “achievements” of 50 years of independence are there in open.

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  3. Government ministers should not always have to respond to opinions from outsiders who are sitting in armchairs. They should spend more time doing their work (continue building roads in this case) than stopping to craft responses like the one above. Their work and progress will speak for itself. Part of the strategy for getting people off course is to get their attention away from productive work. Making such responses also tends to make the detractors seem important.
    I suggest the ministers publish the progress of their road building in the local paper. An example: In the last quarter (three months) we have completed XXX kilometers of the Solwezi/Chavuma road at a cost of KX million. Do this for every road under construction and the people will be happy.

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  4. The problem with this response from Govt is that it appears to have been drafted by illitrate party cadres who failed to see the wisdom from Mr Zukas. In case some of you do not know who this man is; apart from being a former cabinet minister , he is a trained civil engineer. This means that fully understands economics of road construction better than some of you armchair economists. you better listen to him if you are serious about developing roads in zambia.

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    • Mr. Zukas intent is very clear. If he wanted to criticize the government he would have commented on the quality of the roads that would have been a constructive criticism. Mr. Zukas who is an engineer by profession he should have questioned himself why parties have manifestos. It is no secret everywhere in the world the party in government sings what it is doing and what it has done in the past and what it will do in future; the MMD and UNIP boast and glory in what they achieved in the past and are selling their manifestos in order to come back in power. So UPND and PF are also “selling” manifestos in order to come in power or to continue in power. Nevertheless, we have seen the government in power boasting about it’s massive achievements and lose the election.

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  5. Zukas raises a good point!!,,, its like doing a job which you are paid for but you still want to be praised, Governments works for the people and government is always paid,, so Government must be thankful to the people for employment and the money not the other way round

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    • Have we forgotten the time GRZ stopped constructing new roads and stopped maintaining old ones although it was its job to do so? In fact one MMD advert showed large potholes which ZNBC refused to air during the 1991 election campaign.

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  6. Zambian politicians only notice “wrong” things when they are no longer in & part of government or the ruling clique. If building and improving the country’s road infrastructure is politicking in the minds of folks like Mr. Zukas, no wonder MMD has such an abysmal record on infrastructure development despite the 20 years they spent in Govt.

    If PF keeps up with infrastructure development at this pace, Zambia will definitely be a different place in 20 years—the same time MMD spent visionless in Govt. It may not turn out to be the ‘Japan or USA’ of Africa, but it surely will be far much better than it is today. And all the expenses being incurred today will be worth it. But it takes political leaders who are not afraid of failure or criticism to move mountains, so to say!

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  7. The PF has lied here that they have constructed the Solwezi Chavuma road. This road was started in the Mwanawasa era and completed in 2010 with only bits being done before the 2011 elections. How can you now claim to have built the road which PF found already completed? Besides, Solwezi to Chavuma is more than 600km. How can you construct such a road in under 3 years? Do not claim credit for things you haven’t done. For this road credit goes to MMD.

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    • Thank you #Silent Spectator for your comments on the Mutanda-Chavuma Road. The PF is making a similar claim that they constructed the Mongu Kalabo Road when every one remembers that the Rupiah Government sourced the money and was constructing the road when PF took over. The most vivid memory from that period was Yamfwa Mukanga threatening to stop the project half way for what he called an audit until he was advised by more experienced people like Chikwanda. Now the Mongu Kalabo road is the darling of PF vuvuzelas. Please add the Kasama- Mporokoso road, The Kasama- Isoka road, the Mufulira- Chembe Road and the Mumbwa -Landless Corner road which were all under construction when PF took over.

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  8. wat kind of nosense is this?
    is he thinking with his brains or he has lost all of it? how du a normal human being criticise such a positive move?
    i thought its only my auncle DANIEL MUNKOMBWE with that kind thinking.
    politics its all about competition to save watever it is there is nothing wrong to take development down to the people to apease them after all thats politics about.

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  9. Why even pay him your mind? Government should be more concerned about the feedback from the people on the ground.

    The construction of a road network is a mandatory part of national development everywhere in the world so government should not be interested in strange notions that anyone has to utter but rather remain committed to deliver and uplift the standard to a level that can be seen and felt by everybody (including the critics!)

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  10. I guess the sooner government starts publicizing names of owners and board members of any company that wins a tender the more accountable and value for money spent we’ll get! Corruption too will be under check so will favors to only a few be on the decline.

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  11. Of course he is right. No value for money and the most strategic and productive districts are excluded, so marginal contribution to real economic and socio development.

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  12. It is unfortunate for Mr. Zukas to be saying such things just like Dr. M. Mwanawasa was saying that HH could have been a president if he was not a Tonga. HH did extremely well in the past election, can madam Maureen say only Tongas voted for him, & that her late husband was voted because he was a lamba/lenje? God forbid. The voting pattern in rural areas in Zambia was tribal biased. I would strongly blame the MPs for failure to educate people in rural areas why they vote. A close look at Lusaka province and Copper-belt where people are enlightened and belonging to different tribes will reveal the weakness in HH strategy. If HH wants to win 2016 election he should change the strategy & he should bear in mind that PF will also change a game plan. The good fighter bet. UPND and PF…

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    • @Micheal Bwalya just to let you understand M mwanawasa was saying its true.If Bembas were voted for HH he could win with a landslide.However its known fact that Bembas like never sees anything good in other tribes other than there own or cousins.one can say what about levy Mwanawasa?he was put there by Chiluba who knew very well levy was more Lamba than Lenje.From 2001 when Mazoka stood ,tongas were shocked to find out that Bembas voted for Mwanawasa dispite Mazoka had better qualities than Mwanawasa.From this point in time Tongas woke up from slamber ,remember they voted for Chiluba in 1991,they copied what the Bembas do.This will continue for ever untill Zambia is divided in two countries if the Bembas insists that only a Bemba or Nyanja can be president in zambia.

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  13. Zukas is right.Building roads on a loan is like buying furniture to use… unlike borrowing to invest in business which pays for itself.

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    • @ 15 Enka

      Learn to appreciate development. If they are borrowing to put up new infrastructure, that is development. During the Kaunda era, government used to borrow purely for consumption. Infrastructure development strengthens a country’s economy.

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  14. OUR ORGANIZATION FINDS THE STATEMENT MEANT BY ZUKAS TO BE VERY MISLEADING AND COUNTER PRODUCTIVE. WHAT ELSE ARE GOVERNMENT ELECTED FOR? IS IT NOT TO DELIVER DEVELOPMENTAL PROJECTS AND THAT ROADS CONSTRUCTION IS ONE THE HUB SECTOR THAT THE GOVERNMENT SHOULD ATTEND TO. THIS JUST GOES TO SHOW HOW UNHAPPY THAT THE PF PARTY WAS RE-ELECTED TO CONTINUE WITH ITS DEEVLPMETAL AGENDA. INFACT FOR PF THEY ARE NTO STARTING ROAD INFRASTRUCTURE NOW. THE PROGRAMME HAS BEEN RUNNING FOR FOUR YERAS NOW. LET CONTIUE WITH BEING CHOKED WITH ENVY UNTIL NEXT YAER WHEN THEY WILL BE GENEARL ELECTIONS AND HIS PREFERRE PARTY BE DEAFTED AGAIN.

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  15. BO ZUKAS HELP US BY FINDING OUT WHTA THE UPND CONSTITUTION SAYS ABOUT THE GENEARL CONFERENCE. AFTER HOW MANY YEARS? BECAUSE WE FIL,L SOMEONE IS NOT HELPIMG THE PARTY BY NOT THINKING OF HOLDING THE GENEARL CONFERENCE.
    OUR SUGGESTION IS THAT WITH OR WITHOUT HOLDING PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION IN THE UPND PARTY, THE GENERAL CONFERENCE FOR UPND SHOULD GO AHEAD AND THIS SHOULD BE BEWEEN NOW AND BEFORE NEXT YEAR’S GENERAL ELECTIONS.

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  16. The fact that the Govt’s response has taken Mr. Zukas concerns out of context and then attacked him, clearly suggests he is right in his observation. Unfortunately, ba LT have not given any background to to his concerns either.

    To put it in context, Mr. Zukas says PF Govt is plunging the Country into a huge debt by borrowing heavily and doing these roads without a corresponding pay back plan. Even UN have made the same observation. He says his worry is that the huge debt will unfairly end up on each Zambian’s lap, whether we like it or not. He says the PF Govt’s borrowing is motivated by political gain more than economic gain.

    Now, seriously, can someone in their right mind tell me, what is wrong with that observation?

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  17. Zukas is very right, it’s all building, when, are you going to start paying back? These projects were initiated by MMD, you are only implementing them. How about the Bond, you borrowed? Think about?, it’s all campaign gimmick

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  18. I find Zambian Opposition Parties confusing. It’s clear to me that they exist only to BE the Party in gov’t. Somehow their behaviour indicates clearly, that they do not understand that they SHOULD be Patriotic supporters of whomever is in Power. Whether it is to argue against some programme or to agree on it.

    In relation to this particular petty ‘electioneering’ stance by chap called Zukas ( very unZambian name); MMD has argued in the not too distant past that most of the Development Programme being carried out was devised by ……MMD! How can each of your feet be in two different boats rocking precariously?

    It is distasteful for opposition parties to fail to work with gov’t. Politicians in opposition are extremely unruly. They only have an interest to overturn the gov’t.

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    • Opposition Parties argue time and again on the quality of the Roads, at the SAME time arguing that our Debt levels have risen to a high level higher than in the bad old days. Well, if our Roads were to be ‘fancier,’ would we not have to borrow more?

      TODAY’s ADAGE:-

      ‘A bad road, where there was none, IS better than none!’

      Pardon the repetition.

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  19. The road to a debt ladden hell is paved with good intentions.

    Batoto yetu ndio atalipa hii mkopo just to get PF pangas politicians re-elected due to their “positive development record”

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  20. The big issue here is Freddy Mmembe who has seen PF not working because Winter and his minions are being purged. Please follow the trend of Mmembe has pipo he goes to to make pre-determined news to work against government he does not like. Many pipo saw the tribal appointments Sata made and never said a thing because he new Sata waas dying and made sure that Sata made appointments aimed at taking power away from the people but to him and his friends. Watch Mmembe, corruption comes in only when its an eastrener or Luapulan is in power. Sata was not corrupt yet it is clear that this man was very corrupt. Mmembe kept quiet until fired Winter and died. It is when Mmembe saw PF as corrupt, Tribal and one ethnic dominated party. Mmembe is newspaper is not journalism but a tool to get power

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  21. I find some comments coming from the many crops of hynas, monkeys, rats and snakes against the UPND to be very unfair and very misplaced. If UPND is not a factor and its leader HH, why passing on lame comments everyday and time against him ? These useless characters have a wrong perspective that they own Zambia and the world, the kind of i.m.b.e.c.i.l.e.s I have never come across in my life. Why wasting their energies passing negative comments as if their blessing came from heaven yet it was endowned by their blood parent Lucifer who wholeheartedly supervised their evil hearts to steal the vote from the UPND and HH. Lesa nimalyotola baswenke, His hand is more powerful than your i.d.i.ot.ic thinking.

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    • @ 24 Tyson Khuku

      You need to develop the capacity to take political opponents on – not through insults and name calling. You sound ambivalent to criticism even while UPND is merely an opposition party. If you think UPND is being criticized now, wait until they form a government.

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  22. Simon Zukas is Right! You don’t get rich by borrowing – you get indebted!

    Development is what all are looking for, but not borrowed-development, fraudulent development by obtaining loans without reasonable means of repaying the loans. We have to develop within our capacity and means. PF, tell the Nation how you are going to raise money to pay back loans for these accelerated projects or are you looking for another Structural Development Programme (SAP) and debt right-off? If you are looking for debt forgiviness, them you are committing are fraud – criminals!

    We should learn to live within our means, rather than defrauding the world community.

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    • @ 25 Maano

      Your argument is too shallow. Please give me the name of a single government that is debt free? If you don’t know the value of debt, then avoid speaking like you know.

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  23. THE COMMENTS BY ZUKAS ARE VERY UNFORTUNATE ESPECIALLY COMING FROM A SENIOR CITIZEN AND FORMER MINISTER. WHAT DEVELOPMENT CAN YOU HAVE WITHOUT HAVING GOOD ROADS. I THOUGHT ANY DEVELOPMENT NEEDS COMMUNICATION AND ROADS ARE PART OF THAT. WE SHOULD GIVE PRAISE WERE IT IS DUE AND LET US NOT BE SHALLOW MINDED BECAUSE OF OUR POLITICAL AFFILIATIONS. DEEP DOWN HIS HEART, ZUKAS KNOWS THAT HE IS NOT TELLING THE TRUTH. LET PF WORK ON THE ROADS AND THIS WILL HELP ALL PEOPLE AS IT WILL EASY TRANSPORT COSTS AND DOING BUSINESS. MUTANDA/CHAVUMA ROAD WAS NOT STARTED BY MMD, IT WAS STARTED BY UNIP FOR YOUR INFORMATION AND MMD ONLY CONTINUED FROM WHERE UNIP STOPPED. IF PF DID SOME PART, IT JUST FINISHED WHAT UNIP AND MMD WERE DOING. PEOPLE WILL JUDGE PF BY WHAT IT IS DOING AT THE END OF ITS MANDETE. CHIBE LSK

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  24. The truth remains, that the road network was deteriorating at a rate faster than we were maintaining them. The fact that something needed to be done to the roads and other infrastructure cannot be be disputed. It was just a question of when. The opposition is just jealousy.

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  25. The problem with Zambians is that they have become so used to mediocrity such that building a poor quality road some where is now considered grace from heaven……….what Simone is saying is very true in any civilized society but in a society like our we have all the kind of insults being poured on him like what am reading here

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    • Mediocrity is better off than not having at all. It is better to drive in a substandard road than driving in a gravel sink holed, deep potholed uneven roads.

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  26. Let Zukas buy a plane and never use our roads since he said that the roads the PF are constructing are not of economic benefit.

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  27. Learn to govern. Don’t get detracted. The opposition will always find something to criticize. That is their business. PF are behaving and reacting like the opposition. I wonder how they managed to get it off at the ballot box! Did they just steal the vote?

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  28. Looks like senility is not such a nice time to look forward to, what with a multiplicity of old age ailments/disorders, making one to become increasingly forgetful and disoriented!

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  29. Hey what was Hazel Gausi doing with FDD president and old Simon Zukas?
    Eish, politics in Zambia!
    Whatever Zukas was thinking when he made that statement is really archaic. Road construction in any nation is done using borrowed funds raised either from domestic market or from international lenders. Like many have already echoed, Zambia needed a serious re-look at her road infrastructure, which was in a poor state and one way or the other needed investment.
    Even the results of the last elections in North-western province are a reflection of the people’s anger for failure by the PF government to work on the Chingola – Solwezi road where the copper is coming from. Development without a good communication infrastructure of which roads are the most basic of them is an illusion!

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  30. Ministry of Information and Broadcasting Services – Public Relations Unit? Hah!! Civil servants issuing political statements?

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  31. zukas litole, as a true Zambian we need to see roads just like in zukas’s descent country. poor white dog

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