United Party for National Development (UPND) National Chairperson Mutale Nalumango has charged that the revelations given by Works and Supply Minister, Mathew Nkhuwa that the state is ready to spend over twenty million United States dollars (US$ 20 million) is not only shocking but also absurd.
Nalumango said the Minister’s claims that Statehouse can collapse anytime due to its age and current condition is extremely laughable and it exposes the PF as a plundering regime that will stop at nothing to pocket a quick buck.
She who noted that to further show that this proposed construction is entirely meant for plundering said the proponents suggest that the current Statehouse be turned into a National Museum.
Nalumango wondered that PF want to turn a collapsing building into a Museum which is a clear indication that the structure is not a death trap because if it was a death trap then it cannot be made a museum.
“A quick search on Google shows you that the White House was completed in 1812 that is 205 years ago. Of course it has gone through renovations over the years but it only remains at that; renovations. There was never a time the wealthy United States of America proposed to demolish it and build another White House, no, and the same currently serves as a Museum for the people of America. Number 10 (the official residence of the Prime Minister of UK) was completed in 1684, that is 333 years ago, still stands in its original place, occupied by the same people it was initially designed for”
“What is so wrong with our Statehouse that we want to completely abandon it already and spend colossal sums of money on an unnecessary project? Have we become rich all of a sudden? Where have we sourced US$20 million to throw down the drain? The Minister of Finance revealed some staggering figures on external debt, and the figures revealed are more than what the Kenneth Kaunda Government failed to settle before we were deemed Highly Indebted Poor Country (HIPC)”
“One would have thought that the Government should be seen to be putting frantic efforts in offsetting our current debt crisis than be seen to be spending millions of dollars only on projects that benefit a selected few. We have an issue of shortages of drugs in our health Centers; we have bad hospital beds, dilapidated health structures and schools. We have run down prisons with no proper facilities, the priority list is endless. We have so many issues on our plate as a nation for us to be thinking of building a brand new structure costing that much money” she said
And the UPND National Chairperson has implored the PF regime to reconsider this wastage and instead consider renovations on the current building, which of course should gobble less.
“We know there is a certain hunger for plundering in the PF, but we hope that the Minister of Works and Supply could walk into UTH and see the state of beds, hospital cups and utensils, maybe and just maybe, people could have a change of heart” Nalumango said