NRDC already sold to AVIC, insists HH

By Staff Reporter

United Party for National Development (UPND) president Hakainde Hichilema has charged that there is a well guarded secret sale of the  NRDC by the government to AVIC International.

Hichilema told journalists that the government, through Ministry of Agriculture permanent Secretary Julius Shawa, sold the 304 hectares NRDC land through a swap to AVIC international, a construction company that has been awarded numerous contracts by the Zambian government.

“Julius Shawa, permanent secretary signed the sale agreement on behalf of the Zambian government while a representative from AVIC signed in Chinese language. This is how dull and disorganised this government can be. How do you allow the signing of an important document in a language you least understand? What if they turn around and say it’s not us that signed? Hichilema asked on Sunday.

“When one considers the location where the land being sold is, it is safe to say the government gave away land for free to AVIC international because NRDC is on prime land and very expensive when you covert it into cash.”

Hichilema argued that the prime land on which Natural Resources Development College (NRDC) was situated could not be compared to traditional land in Shibuyunji district where the institution would be constructed.

“It was unfortunate, that the PS in the ministry of agriculture decided to lie when the UPND wrote to him demanding the halt to the sell of NRDC. When we wrote a demand letter, the PS replied that the government is not selling NRDC. But the MoU in our possession of which confirm the sale via a swap to AVIC betrays the PS in the ministry of Agriculture,”said Hichilema.

“There are many other asserts this government has sold and others that are still at negotiation level, but UPND will not let the PF government to sale all the national asserts. For a start, I have directed the Secretary General to write back to Mr Shawa to explain why he denied the presence of sale agreement when the UPND earlier wrote to him urging him to reverse the sale.”