Opposition Forum for Democracy and Development (FDD) president Edith Nawakwi has said government should close all the mines as they do not benefit Zambians.She was speaking in response to Finance minister Alexander Chikwanda who revealed in parliament today that the cost of constructing roads in Zambia is one of the highest in the world.
Mrs Nawakwi said apart from damaging the roads the mines are also consuming electricity at the expense of the local people who she said are not benefiting anything from the mines.
“We should close all mines and export electricity so that we use that money to do roads and develop the country,” she said.
She charged that the country does not need the Solwezi Chingola road because it only benefits the mines which don’t pay enough tax to the government.
“How can the Government take money to tar the Solwezi- Chingola road to only benefit the mines instead of giving that money to youths in Cairo road so that they can stop trading on the streets,” she said.
Meanwhile Finance minister Alexander Chikwanda said the Government is trying to ensure that they reduce the cost for road construction to acceptable and manageable levels.
Mr Chikwanda was speaking during a debate on the adoption of the Estimates on the budget for 2014.
“Mr Speaker the cost of doing roads is one of the highest if not the highest in the world but we are working to reduce the cost to do roads in the country,” he said.
The Finance minister added that no country can develop without proper roads hence the PF governments desire to improve the road network in the country.