Cabinet this afternoon declined to approve a Ministry of Works and Supply memorandum proposing the construction of a new State House Main Administration Building for use by the Republican President and State House Staff and refurbishment and conversion of the old State House into a Museum.
This has come to light in the press statement released to the media by State house on the cabinet meeting held today, at Mulungushi International Conference Centre.
According to the statement, the Ministry of Works and Supply argued in the proposal that the current State House main administration building was built in the early 1930s and due to passage of time, the structure has continued to deteriorate posing potential health and safety risks. The Ministry further argued that the building has limited office space for State House staff.
Despite the advanced reasons, Cabinet decided not to approve the proposal in view of the limited resources and the prevailing economic situation in the country.
Below is the full statement on decisions made by cabinet in today’s meeting
PRESS STATEMENT ON THE DECISIONS MADE BY CABINET AT THE 27TH CABINET MEETING HELD AT MULUNGUSHI INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE CENTRE ON MONDAY, 14TH DECEMBER, 2015
LUSAKA (Monday, December 14, 2015) — At the 27th Cabinet Meeting held today, 14th December, 2015 at Mulungushi International Conference Centre, Cabinet discussed nine (9) substantive Agenda Items and the following were the decisions made:
(a) Phase out of Incandescent (Ordinary) Bulbs in Zambia
Under this Item Cabinet approved phasing out of incandescent (ordinary) bulbs in Zambia by banning importation of ordinary bulbs by 1st January, 2016. Incandescent bulbs are very energy inefficient converting only 5% of electrical energy into visible light while the remaining 95% is wasted as heat energy. It is important for Government to find means and ways of saving the little electricity generated by using energy saving methods, in any way possible as Government looks at further investment in the energy sector to cushion the current energy challenges the country and the region is passing through. This measure will result in the power utility Zesco saving more than 200 megawatts of power.
(b) Appointment of Members of ZESCO Board of Directors
Under this item, Cabinet has approved appointment of nine (9) Members of the ZESCO Board of Directors. It is necessary to appoint the Board of Directors for ZESCO Limited in order to ensure that ZESCO Limited is guided in the provision of sound generation, transmission and distribution of electricity supply. This is in line with good corporate governance practices.
(c) Development of Kasomeno-Mwenda 182-km Toll Road Project to connect Katanga Province of the Democratic Republic of Congo to Luapula Province of the Republic of Zambia under the Public Private Partnership
Under this item, Cabinet approved a Public Private Partnership to Build, Operate and Transfer (BOT) 86Km of road from Chalwe to Mwenda between the Government of the Republic of Zambia and Groupe European de Development Congo (DRC) & Groupe European de Development Zambia (Zambia).
It is in the interest of Government to ensure that most future infrastructure projects should be undertaken through PPP mode, as this is a sure way of ensuring that the many planned infrastructure projects are implemented countrywide as has already been demonstrated by Government.
The project scope includes modernisation and expansion of 182 Km of road way; construction of two (2) one-stop border posts with parking and warehouse facilities; construction of a 345 metres cable-stayed bridge; construction of four (4) toll collection stations; and construction of an airstrip.
(d) Commitment of 15 Percent Advance Payment for Contracted and Negotiated Loans
Under this item, Cabinet approved that future project financing will be negotiated to cover 100 percent of the project cost and that the Ministry of Finance would be sourcing the 15 percent Advance Request on contracted and negotiated loans by way of bridge financing facilities. The decision has arisen because some loans contracted consist of concessional, non-concessional and bond financing. In particular, Concessional and non-concessional export credits from the Chinese Government typically finance only 85 percent of the total project cost with the remaining 15 percent to be funded by Government by means of an advance payment.
(e) Girls Education and Women’s Empowerment and Livelihood Project amounting to US$ 65,000,000
Under this Item, Cabinet approved contraction of a loan from the World Bank amounting to US$ 65,000,000 to support the implementation of girls’ education and women’s empowerment and livelihood project countrywide.
It is important for Government to stick to its promise of girls and women empowerment as stipulated in the National Gender Policy. The Government recognises the importance of girls and women’s empowerment in order to enable them to fully contribute to the development of this country. The loan is highly concessional and terms include 0 percent interest rate per annum and repayment period spread up to 32 years.
(f) Design and Construction of 2,350 Housing Units for the Security Wings Project Amounting to US$ 275 Million
Under this item Cabinet approved the contraction of a loan from the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China amounting to US$ 275 million to support the implementation of the Design and Construction of 2,350 housing units project for the security wings to be undertaken by the Ministry of Home Affairs.
The loan is intended to provide financial resources required for the full implementation of the project to ease and mitigate the housing shortage within the security wings. Improved housing conditions and general living conditions for security personnel will consequently lead to enhanced security and job opportunities for local residents during the construction period.
(g) Proposal to build new State House Main Administration Building
Under this Item, Cabinet declined to approve a Ministry of Works and Supply memorandum proposing the construction of a new State House Main Administration Building for use by the Republican President and State House Staff and refurbishment and conversion of the old State House into a Museum. The proposal stated that the current State House main administration building was built in the early 1930s and due to passage of time, the structure has continued to deteriorate posing potential health and safety risks. Further, the building has limited office space for State House staff. Despite this situation, Cabinet decided not to approve the proposal in view of the limited resources and the prevailing economic situation in the country.
(i) Calendar for Cabinet/Cabinet Committees for the Year 2016
Under this item, Cabinet took note of the Calendars for Cabinet and Cabinet Committee Meetings for the Year 2016. This is important, as Cabinet and Cabinet Committee Business should be conducted in a systematic manner.
(j) Migration of Immigration Department from Public Service Commission to Police and Prisons Service Commission
Under this item, Cabinet took note of the information that the Department of Immigration has been moved from Public Service Commission to the Police and Prisons Service Commission.
It was necessary to migrate the Department of Immigration from the Public Service Commission to the Police and Prisons Service Commission in order to enhance operational efficiency as matters relating to staff appointments, confirmations, promotions and retirements would be expedited.
SPECIAL ASSISTANT TO THE PRESIDENT
PRESS AND PUBLIC RELATIONS)