The Minister of Planning Honorable Lucky Mulusa has proposed relocating the capital city because the Greater City of Lusaka has become unsustainable. The Minister has argued that it is extremely expensive for government to undertake a massive urban renewal programme to turn Lusaka into a smart, sustainable, green city. He projects the situation to be worse in ten years’ time.
As an alternative to Lusaka, the Minister has proposed relocating the capital city to Ngabwe in Central Province.
At the moment, Lusaka host the “Big 6” developmental nodes, namely, the executive, legislature, judiciary, commerce, tourism and manufacturing.
While we support the need to rethink the spatial issues of the Greater City of Lusaka from the lens of sustainability, our point of departure with Minister’s proposal is adopting the one-size-fits-all approach to address the Lusaka sustainability problem. We implore government to rethink this sort of spatial planning intervention. It it will be the approach for Ngabwe, whereby the “New” capital city is made to host the “Big 6”developmental nodes in a one-size-fits-all strategy, then Ngabwe will too become unsustainable like Lusaka.
Our view is that instead of adopting the one-size-fits-all strategy, there is need to decentralize central government by relocating the executive, legislature, and judiciary to different locations. This is good for the country, not only for spatial reasons, but also as a means for equitable distribution national resources and promoting national unity.
Our view is that Lusaka remains the commercial and manufacturing capital of Zambia. Ngabwe could host the judicial capital. With the proposed construction of the new airport on the Copperbelt, the executive capital could be moved an area bordering Copperbelt and Kapiri Mposhi. The legislature could be moved to Mongu in Western Province, while the tourism capital could remain in Southern Province in Livingstone. In this regard, there will be need to construct state-of-art conferencing facilities in Livingstone similar to the ones in Cape Town, Durban and Sandton, as well as upgrade other social amenities so that Zambia starts attracting high profile international conferences on regular basis.
Green Party of Zambia