CONSTRUCTION of Kazungula Bridge has been halted after Chilibwe Mining Company filed an injunction to restrain contractors from excavating quarry on its land for the project.
The US$259.3 million Bridge, across the Zambezi River was being undertaken by Zambia and Botswana with financial assistance from Japan International Co-operation Agency and the African Development Bank.
Southern Province Minister Nathaniel Mubukwanu told his Finance counterpart Alexander Chikwanda in Choma yesterday that the mining firm filed the injunction early this week to halt quarrying activities on its alleged piece of land.
“Although we have seen significant progress on this project, on a sad note two days ago this mining company filed an injunction to stop the contractors from quarrying on its land, “he said.
Mr Mubukwanu, who was speaking when Mr Chikwanda called on him at his office, said the injunction would delay the construction pace of the long-awaited Bridge.
Mr Chikwanda, however said Government was committed to seeing the Bridge complete to enhance trade between Zambia and its neighbouring countries.
The minister said the project was important in facilitating movement of products, creating jobs and increasing opportunities for regional trade activities.
He said, although the project was engrossed with some challenges prior to its construction, Zambia and Botswana would ensure the Bridge was completed.
Mr Chikwanda later commissioned newly built three by two semi-detached housing blocks at a cost of K2.91 million for workers at Zambia Revenue Authority (ZRA) in Choma.
He urged the ZRA officers to double their efforts to enhance revenue collection to ensure the country’s continued growth momentum and trajectory.
ZRA governing board chairperson Mwila Lumbwe said, apart from the mandate to collect taxes, the institution was also modernising its infrastructure.