National Planning and Development Minister Alexander Chiteme says government has not made any decision on moving the capital city from Lusaka the newly created Ngabwe district in central province.
And Mr Chiteme says he fully supports the construction of a new State House as the current one is dilapidated.
Mr Chiteme who is also Nkana Member of Parliament said the announcement by his predecessor Lucky Mulusa that Zambia should move the capital city to Ngabwe was merely an idea.
He said cabinet has not even tabled the issue.
Mr Chiteme was speaking on Thursday when he featured on Hot FM’s Hot Seat radio programme.
“Let me call a spade a spade and not a spade a big spoon because the two are very different. A plan is an intended purpose. There has been no decision at least from what i have seen that places the decision to move the capital into Ngabwe,” Mr Chiteme said.
He added, “It might be an ambitious plan and there are other plans and suggestions that are there to decongest the capital city and those plans are being looked into and this is what i am passionate about, whatever plan is being perceived, it first has to go into appraisal mode. We have to appraise it and see if it feasible. From what i have seen, there has not been any decision on this issue.”
Mr Chiteme said the fact remains that Lusaka is congested.
“Yes we agree to the fact that Lusaka is congested and we are looking at possible solutions. It’s not a done deal, no one is saying we are moving the capital to Ngabwe, its one of the options that government might consider and its among the list of other options, we might even say move it into Kafue, we might even say move it into Kabwe. It’s not a foregone conclusion,” he said.
“My predecessor might have made the pronouncement but it is not a cabinet decision to say that Ngabwe has been earmarked and its a done deal. There is nothing at this stage to say we are moving the capital city. The issue of moving to Ngabwe was merely an idea but if at all we get to that decision, we could even decide to take the capital city to Kafue,” Mr Chiteme said.
During the same programme, Mr Chiteme disclosed that he fully supports the construction of a new State House.
He said the current State House is dilapidated and unfit for the purpose.
Mr Chiteme said he has been to State House on many occasions and that its state of disrepair is a source of concern.
And Mr Chiteme has announced that government will soon pass a law that will come up with a structured way of appraising government projects.
“We have to come up with a structured way of appraising projects. We are going to move away from project implementation before appraisal and this is going to be regulated by law. We need to assess social and economic impact of any project and benchmark it and questions whether the cost and economic value is right. The haphazard way of trying to justify projects will be done away with,” he explained.