By KALOBWE BWALYA and MUKOSELA KASALWE
GOVERNMENT has not signed a contract with Lamise to collect toll fees but that has signed a Road Transport and Safety Agency Memorandum of Understanding to enhance road security features such as the mounting of cameras.
Minister of Housing and Infrastructure Ronald Chitotela said no private institution had been given the mandate to collect toll fees apart from two government bodies RTSA and the National Road Fund Agency (NRFA).
Speaking when he featured on Millennium Radio live phone in programme in Lusaka yesterday, the Minister said Lamise would work with RTSA on functions which are being performed by the police traffic section through security features such as cameras and other high technology measures on the roads.
And the minister has projected that K900 million would be collected at toll plazas this year and that in the long term K1 billion.
He said Government was responsible and could not give such a huge mandate to a private institution.
Meanwhile, Mr Chitotela, has engaged lawyers to deal with people that have accused him of unlawfully getting a car from the Road Development Agency (RDA).
Mr. Chitotela complained that the allegations were unfair and defamatory in nature.
He however declined to comment further on the court action that his lawyers would take against the perpetrators of the allegations that have gone viral on social media, saying he wanted the law to take its course.
The minister challenged people alleging corruption to substantiate their claims because as far as he knew, all contracts under his ministry had evidence for all to see.
Mr Chitotela also revealed that the President had asked him to engage the private sector in the housing sector and would therefore be travelling to the United States for strategic meetings.
“President Edgar Lungu has instructed me to engage the private sector that will be able to invest in the housing sector and for this reason I will be visiting the United States of America where I will be going to meet possible investors in the financial sector to come and set up a construction bank in Zambia,” said Mr Chitotela.
He said this is because Government wanted to see a bank that would specifically service the construction sector.
Mr Chitotela said his Ministry has signed a memorandum of understanding with a Chinese company to build houses in a project called rent-to-own.
The minister, who is Pambashe Member of Parliament said the project would see Government build 20, 000 housing units.
“This will see the country reduce its housing deficit and the project will see people rent houses but the rentals will be going towards payment of the house,” he said.