Minister of Infrastructure, Housing, and Urban Development Charles Milupi has clarified that the Public-Private Partnership agreement with the Southern Africa Business Development Forum is not only for the construction of roads but other projects.
Mr. Milupi said that the agreement will also revamp, develop and industrialize the existing 93 resettlement schemes and develop new ones countrywide and that for each scheme, an off-grid power will be set up to facilitate irrigation.
Mr Milupi further said that the agreement includes design, building, and or rehabilitation of approximately 1 400 kilometers of roads to international bituminous standards.
Mr Milupi said it is, however, surprising that the people, who were part of the agreement that was signed by former Vice President Inonge Wina on August 10th, 2021, and approved by then Minister of Justice Given Lubinda, are misleading people on social media.
He said it is also shocking that former Zambian High Commissioner to South Africa Emmanuel Mwamba, who facilitated engagements with the government and the investor, is giving misleading information against the agreement on social media.
Mr. Milupi said the financial documents are yet to be concluded and when it is done, it shall constitute financial closure.
Milupi said that the Road Development Agency (RDA) has been tasked to review the cost for each road link and ensure the cost reasonableness analysis is conducted to bring the estimated project costs to an acceptable value.
Mr. Milupi said the RDA has been asked to do so because the new dawn government did not have any objection to proceeding with the agreement provided it is done at the correct price, time, and quality.
Speaking at the same Media Briefing in Lusaka today Minister of Information and Media Chushi Kasanda called for correct use of social media platforms and not to misinform the public.
Ms. Kasanda said the government will accept criticism but it should be constructively done.
She said people need to be responsible and give out information that is going to build and develop the country.
And the Minister of Information and Media posted the following statement on her Facebook page
Today we took time to clarify the Concession Agreement for the development of the Western Corridor Trade facilitation route. The Minister of Infrastructure and Housing Hon. Charles Milupi emphasized that, contrary to the misrepresentation of facts:
The agreement was signed on 10th August 2021 between the Government of the Republic of Zambia, under the Patriotic Front (PF) administration, and the Southern Africa Business Development Forum (SABDF).
The New Dawn administration, having reviewed the terms and conditions as well as calculated the benefits, gave no objection to the project being implemented.
The ‘No objection’ to proceed by the New Dawn administration is premised on condition that the project is done at the correct price, time and quality.
Engineers from the Government side and the Concessionaires are currently in the field carrying out assessments that will inform the expected cost of the project.
The Public-Private Partnership (PPP) agreement with SABDF is not only for the construction of roads but other projects such as revamping, developing and industrializing the existing 93 resettlement schemes and developing new ones countrywide.
Some of the benefits of the proposed project include job creation, empowerment of Local Contractors, among others.
I would like to assure the nation that the new dawn administration is a transparent government.
I appeal to journalists and the public at large not to hesitate to engage the Ministry to clarify falsehoods being peddled online. Thank you and God bless our country Zambia.
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