Chinsali-Nakonde road as important as Kafue-Mazabuka road – Chitotela
By Staff Reporter
HOUSING and infrastructure minister Ronald Chitotela has told proponents of the rehabilitation of the Kafue – Mazubuka road to speak about the need to work on the Chinsali- Nakonde road as well.
Speaking when asked by programme host Franklin Tembo Jr, on ZNBC Sunday Interview programme why the government seemed to be ignoring the public outcry on the deplorable state of the Kafue – Mazabuka road, Chitotela wished such calls could be reciprocated on the Chinsali – Nakonde stretch in Muchinga Province.
“How I wish and I told my brother Gary Nkombo (Mazabuka UPND member of parliament)…. I told him [that] how I wish the loudest voices I’m hearing on Kafue – Mazabuka could have been the same loudest voices I would hear for Chinsali – Nakonde! If you ask me ‘which road was first in a deplorable state between the two?’ It is the Great North Road and we explained to the people,” Chitotela said.
“I want to tell you that the economic activity and the road carnages from Nakonde to Chinsali are everyday. This is not to downgrade the importance of Kafue to Mazabuka. But I want to cite an example how we arrive at doing things. I will begin with the Great North Road; everyday on that road, there are road carnages. The Ministry of Works and Supply then, now Ministry of Housing and Infrastructure, through the Road Development Agency, wrote to Africa Development Bank to seek for financing of Chinsali up to Nakonde because the road is gone, there is no road to talk about. In 2015 and the people of Chinsali to Nakonde have been very patient… The second busiest border facility in Zambia, even in terms of economic activities, is Nakonde.
You cannot talk about the importance of Kafue – Mazabuka without talking about the importance of Nakonde – Chinsali.”
And the minister pointed out that some Zambians were creating a perception that Avic International, a Chinese construction firm, had gotten all the construction projects in Zambia because “ is compromised or maybe is dealing with government.”
Chitotela said Avic International could be one of the best performing companies in Zambia and delivering construction projects within schedule.
“I was speaking to my friend, I said ‘anyway, eventually where we are going we will have a situation where any Chinese who is working in Zambia they will be beating them [up] as Avic. I’m not saying is the only Chinese company that is performing very well, maybe Avic is one of the best companies that is performing in Zambia that is delivering the projects within schedule. I can tell you that I have been in the Ministry of Housing and Infrastructure for almost two years now. I started as Minister of Works and Supply for one month and some days. After the Ministry was created, I was transferred in 2016, November up to today 2018. By November I will be clocking two years in this Ministry. Avic could have gotten maybe one or two projects…. Ndola-Lusaka dual carriageway is being implemented by China Jiangxi, the C400 is China Henan. Yes, Avic is doing the Lusaka roads,” said Chitotela.