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Thursday, February 27, 2020

Chinese constructors allegedly defy Lusaka minister on controversial Kalundu Mall

General News Chinese constructors allegedly defy Lusaka minister on controversial Kalundu Mall

Lusaka Province Minister, Mr. Japhen Mwakalombe giving a presentation at the symposium in Pretoria
Lusaka Province Minister, Mr. Japhen Mwakalombe
GOVERNMENT is in the dark about the resumption of works at the controversial Kalundu Mall by Chinese constructors after the project was halted because of revelations that the company had not followed the legal channels nor obtained necessary licenses for the same.

Both Lusaka minister, Japhen Mwakalombe and Water, Sanitation and Environment Development counterpart, Lloyd Kaziya are unaware of the resumption of construction as they have not been furnished with information to that effect.

Two months ago, construction works were halted following complaints from residents about the site of the projects as well lack of approval from the Zambia Environmental Authority (ZEMA) and the National Council for Construction (NCC).

The two ministers told the Daily Nation in separate interviews that they had neither received verbal or written confirmation authorizing the resumption of construction of the Kalundu Mall, a project objected to by residents of the surrounding communities.

Mr Kaziya said he had not be given any report to indicate that ZEMA had approved the project retrospectively.

Mr Mwakalombe also expressed surprise, as he had neither received a verbal or written briefing about any recommendation from any of the authorities tasked to look into the matter.

But a Chinese national representing Shumeite Investments Eric Shaun said they had written to ZEMA, Ministry of Local Government and Lusaka provincial office seeking permission to continue with construction up to Wednesday.

Mr Shaun said only ZEMA replied to their request, but when asked to produce the copy of a letter from ZEMA he failed to do so.

Efforts to contact ZEMA failed because its acting corporate Affairs Manager Alex Museshyo blocked the reporter’s cell for constantly querying about the issue.

Meanwhile, Kalundu residents have expressed shock that ZEMA has failed to produce a letter permitting the contractor to go back on site despite the case still active in court.

The residents have also questioned why ZEMA did not inform them as interested parties instead of being confronted with Shumetie constructing day and night in the name of securing materials.

They residents have vowed to now take on ZEMA.

The residents have since demanded for a letter from ZEMA before they take law into their own hands because what was happening was against the law.

A spot check at the site by the Daily Nation yesterday, found Chinese construction workers had resumed work in full force.

Resident’s spokesperson Mwinga Sichula said the residents will not sit idle and watch some disgruntled people who do not mean well to continue abrogating the law.

Ms Sichula wondered why ZEMA failed to send inspectors to monitor what was happening on the ground, instead the building has been going up since last week on Friday and if everything was above board, a notice to the residents would have been circulated.

“They are working day and night and the building going up right in front of our eyes. There are pouring concrete into slabs that were breaking down because of rains and this confirms our fears how unsafe is the building considering that it will be five storey.

“ I woke up in the evening to get a video and pictures after noise of machines persisted, but the moment they saw me they switched off the lights,” said Ms Sichula.

National Council for Construction (NCC) halted the project because the contractor did not meet the benchmarks needed before the project could take off and among other irregularities, Shumeite was not registered with the NCC.

This is a matter in which Kalundu residents have opposed plans to construct a shopping mall by a Chinese firm (Shumeite Investments Limited) citing environmental and social security concerns among other contentious issues.

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13 COMMENTS

  1. Why would such construction works of a shopping mall be a responsibility of the Minister of water and sanitation instead of the Minister of Local Government? Knowing this country so this project will continue or will be approved despite the neighboring residential property owners complaining that they do not want it.In other countries such projects can never be entertained when there are complaints from the surrounding residents. Shopping malls, shopping malls everywhere as if people eat shopping malls. Let’s be serious for once. Pull down that structure

    • “In other countries such projects can never be entertained when there are complaints from the surrounding residents”. Which countries always allow the voice of the people to win?
      Decisions are made, not only based on complaints, but based on a very broad perspective. I was once told by a former PS in charge of environment that the Ministry as well as the community had vehemently opposed the construction of Sun International Hotel ( renamed as Avani Hotel) in Livingstone. The former PS later confessed that the Hotel had actually improved environmental conservation in the area. The cries of the people should not always win in these developmental issues.

  2. “Both Lusaka minister, Japhet Mwakalombe and Water, Sanitation and Environment Development counterpart, Lloyd Kaziya are unaware of the resumption of construction as they have not been furnished with information to that effect”
    LT should do some research before writing and misleading the Public. The right minister is the Minister of Local Government, as per the current portfolio arrangement.
    This project has passed the EIA, and there was therefore not major reasons why the Minister of local Government shouldn’t have approved. The EIA process involves community or stake holder consultations . If there are complaints but no serious reasons for those complaints, the EIA decision can be positive despite the complaints.

  3. “No serious reasons”

    There are street kids begging for food money less than 20 meters down the road from that Chinese mall.

    Didn’t Mwanawasa MHSRIP, rehabilitate those kids and put them back into schools if their parents couldn’t afford it? Why have things changed?

    Maybe we should reprioritize what is important in Zambia, and that for sure is not malls, as they will not help the starving people. Remember, 3rd hungriest.

  4. Why are there chinese workers arnt zambians skilled enough to do labouring work.
    China has backed mugabe for years and see what is happening in zambia. Politics of poverty.
    We hate the colonial masters but now we have chinese masters.

  5. It is absolutely shocking to see this 5 story’s building going up. Who ever saw a mall surrounded by houses? There are so many complications with this: traffic and parking will be a nightmare on that narrow road. Noise pollution will be a nuisance for the residents just like it is now. The Chinese are racing to complete the building during the night so that they can not be stopped. The City Planners should be ashamed of themselves for allowing this to happen. And why is Alex Musheyo blocking calls? Because he is implicated for sure. Brown envelope again. Kalundu residents I wish you the best of luck as you fight against the Chinese with very little support from the relevant authorities. What is going on? We have all seen some of the monstrosities that the Chinese are building, buildings…

  6. Starting from the top leader they are corrupt,wat can u tell the children,in bemba they say amenshi yakonka umufolo,this means water goes in the line were there’s a fallow.u can’t change them,they are doomed.

  7. STOP THE ROT! You want to concern yourselves more with what is going on in Zim than that happening right under your noses. This building has no blessings from the same people being targeted as shoppers. May be demonstrations will be the better language for the town planner and its mayor.

Comments are closed.

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