The government will next week start the official bidding process for the construction of the Lusaka-Ndola dual carriageway. Infrastructure, Housing, and Urban Development Minister Charles Milupi has said that an advert calling for bids will be issued.
Mr. Milupi said that the government has already received a number of unsolicited bids on the project and some are proposing to work on the road at a cost that is 40-percent lower than the initial $1.2 billion projected by the previous regime.
Mr. Milupi said that the project will uphold the three conditions set by President HAkainde Hichilema of ensuring that construction works are done at the right price and delivered to the right quality in a timely manner.
The Infrastructure Minister said this in Ndola when he paid a courtesy call on Copperbelt Province Minister Elisha Matambo.
Mr. Matambo said the Lusaka-Ndola road is in a bad state and needs to be worked on urgently because it connects other parts of the country to the Copperbelt which is an economic hub.
Mr. Matambo also asked the infrastructure Minister to consider working on other roads in the Province such as the Chingola-Kasumbalesa, Ndola-Mufulira, Mufulira -Mokambo, and Chibuluma roads among others.
Mr. Milupi is leading an entourage of Road Development Agency (RDA) officials who are inspecting road projects on the Copperbelt and North-Western Provinces.
Lately, Former Transport Minister William Harrington said that the recent revelations by transport minister Frank Tayali that the contractor engaged to construct the controversial Lusaka-Ndola duo carriageway have offered to construct the road at 50 percent lower than the original cost of $1.2 billion smells of corruption.
In 2018 the PF administration under then-president Edgar Lungu agreed to have the Lusaka-Ndola dual carriageway constructed at a cost of more than $1.2 billion but the road development agency halted the construction of the road and attributed the stagnation to financial constraints.
Transport and Logistics Minister Frank Tayali is on record to have disclosed that the contractor that was meant to work on the dual carriageway at a cost of more than $1.2 billion has come back into the country and has agreed to do the works at a-50 percent lower rate than what was demanded before.
But Mr. Harrington said that there was need for the anti-corruption commission to take interest in the matter as it is one of the projects the former patriotic front regime could have attempted to use to siphon money from the country for its failed attempt to win the august elections. Mr. Harrington has advised the new dawn government to ask the contractor why he overpriced the road project.