CABINET has approved the demolition of old Government Offices around the Ridgeway area in Lusaka to allow for the construction of ultra-modern office blocks to be called Jubilee City.
Cabinet, which met on Monday, has also agreed to support and facilitate the development of the privately-financed Angola-Zambia Refined Petroleum Multi-Product Pipeline (AZOP) project worth US$5 billion in order to enhance the efficiency and reliability of supply and distribution of petroleum products in the country.
Chief government spokesperson Chishimba Kambwili announced this in a statement yesterday.
“Cabinet approved the demolition of old Government Offices around the Government area in order to facilitate the construction of ultra-modern office blocks, a five-star hotel, shopping mall and a car park through a public private partnership,” Mr Kambwili said.
He said the financial resources required for the project will be raised by the private sector, while Government will provide land as its initial investment.
He said Government owns 13 office blocks in the Ridgeway area, most of which were constructed prior to or a few years after independence.
“Most of these buildings have outlived their lifespan and thus pose a danger to the occupants. In addition, some of the buildings are made of fabricated material and cannot be re-modelled to improve their outlook and safety standards,” he said
Mr Kambwili said the Ridgeway area is a prime location and, therefore, requires modern infrastructure which will not only contribute to availability of modern office accommodation but also improve on the capital’s sky-line.
On the development of the AZOP project, Mr Kambwili said this will cushion the country against the rising prices of petroleum products on the domestic market, while making Zambia a regional hub for fuels.
Cabinet also took note of a report by the President on the cause of disparity in the cost of air tickets procured directly from airlines by the Civil Service Travel Office effective June, 2013.
“There have been complaints over disparities in the cost of air tickets based on quotations obtained by Civil Service Travel Office (CSTO) and ministries, provinces and other spending agencies (MPSAs),” the report stated.
It noted that air fares on an aircraft are usually segmented with many varying rates with the first to be sold being the cheapest which are booked and purchased long before the travelling date.
The closer it gets to the travelling date, the more difficult it is to access cheaper tickets. Further, the closer the date of travel, the more difficult it is to hold a booking, the report stated.
Cabinet was also informed that President Lungu is expected to be the guest of honour at the Fifth African Green Revolution Forum to be hosted by Zambia in October this year.
Three other heads of state are expected to attend the forum.
Mr Kambwili said Cabinet was also informed that progress is being made in the modernisation of the Kenneth Kaunda International Airport.
“The contractor has mobilised and has commenced construction of the camp which is at 80 percent completion,” the report states.
Mr Kambwili said Cabinet also discussed the maize marketing modalities for the 2015/2016 marketing season and resolved that the Food Reserve Agency (FRA) should start buying maize when the moisture content is at 12 percent. The FRA will stick to purchasing 500,000 metric tonnes of maize for strategic reserves only.
Cabinet deliberated the introduction of a bill in Parliament to repeal the Refugees (Control) Act of 1970 and the introduction of the Zambia wildlife bill as well as the tourism and hospitality bills to Parliament during the current sitting.
Cabinet also approved Zambia’s intention to bid for the hosting of the African minerals development centre.