…. No corruption is involved in the awarding of contracts to Chinese contractors.
By Francis Maingaila
Lusaka (13-01-19) Housing And Infrastructure Development Minister Ronald Chitotela has laid base the truth regarding the funding of the infrastructure development taking across the country.
Hon. Chitotela told journalists at the Patriotic Front (PF) Interactive Forum held at Chrisma Hotel on Sunday that the payment for the projects is done through the Contractor Financing Intiative (FCI).
Hon. Chitotela explained that claims by political competitors and their allies from the Civil Society Movement accusing the Zambia government that it is paying Chinese contractors more than Zambian were pure lies bent on turnishing the image of the government.
Hon Chitotela said the accusers have run of what to tell the after discovering that whatever plans they had was being implemented by the president Edgar Lungu led government.
To the contrary, Hon. Chitotela explained, the money being spent now on the constitution being undertaken the PF government across the country are funded the implementing contractors via EXIM Bank in their countries of origin through the Contractor Financing Initiative.
According to Hon Chitotela the mode of repaying the debt contracted is agreed in the terms and references signed between the host country Zambia through the minister of finance and the paying country through the EXIM Bank.
Under this plan, Hon Chotelela explained, the contractor agree provide both the funds and services required for the project until it is completed.
“In return, the receiving government would sign the contract in which it agree to pay back the funds at a minimum interest to the paying government under the CFI deal through the EXIM Bank.”
He denied some individuals were benefiting from the infrastructure development using corrupt means when engaging the companies to operate in Zambia.
For examplez Hon. Chitotela suggested, 90% of the Chinese companies operating in Zambia are state owned companies and when engaged in Zambia through the Chinese government.
“That being the case, there is no way individuals could by engage in corrupt activities without being noticed under a complicated process involved in CFI.
Chitotela further ruled the possibility that there were Chinese national moving with huge sums of cash to bribe government officials to win contracts.
And speaking earlier Hon. Chitotela justified the Michael Chilufya Sata plaza at the cost of $500, 000.
Hon. Chitotela said the designed of the plaza, including the volumes of the vehicles the installation will accommodate justifies the amount of money which was spent on it.
Some of the specification thd Michael Chilufya Sata has include a car swipping cards to allow fast service to the customer.
And Hon Chitotela clarified that Seventh Day Adventist Church which hit the airwaves was built using money from well wishers.
“As an MP, I have an obligation people in my constituency. And when the people in my area wanted help in the form of constructing the church, I took it upon myself to lobby for funds from donors.”
He said she the church was completed, he called the press to announce he conclusion of the project so that the donar can see how their money was spent.
He further disclosed that there is another church which is being built his constituency.
“The construction of this particular church is not done by me. This is the initiative of president Lungu who is fulfilling the promises he made to the people in my constituency.”
And Hon. Chitotela disclosed that the process of constructing new State House has began follow the approval the budget.
Hon. Chitotela indicated that the construction of state house was first planned during the era of late president Frederick Chiluba and Levy Mwanawasa.
He said in 2016 a committee of MP headed by UPND member of Parliament was instituted to study the project.
“I am pleased to announce that, the committee reported that the current State House is a security risk to both the sitting president and members of staff.”
Accordingly, Chitotela explained the committee recommended for the construction of a new State House.
He said the approved budget budget provide for design of the structure and the security details of the new State House.
Meanwhile Hon. Chitotela disclosed that the constitution of the road network across the country is progressing well.
He said the construction of the bridge which was washed away in Rundazi has commenced.
So far, a by – bridge to facilitate the movement of the people vehicles to cross the bridge has commenced.
He said the government has since released a total of $2.6 millions to complete the constitution the actual bridge and the by pass bridge.
Hon. Chitotela said the government will spend a total of $2.4 million to fix the three bridges was washed completely in Chipata.
Further Hom. Chitotela said tjr construction of township roads on the Copperbelt is nearing completion.
Similarly Hon Chitotela disclosed that the construction of Great North road which starts from Nakonde to l
Livingstone is under way.
“In some placesx the contractors have already been engaged to build the road and the project will begin soon.”
He added that the 7km Mpika duo courage way is also being worked.
Similarly, the mazabuka ten park road is under construction and the project will go up to monze.
He disclosed that a ten km by pass on the Mazabuka road is being designed by China Henium.
Equally Hon. Chitotela explained, the Sesheke road from kazungula is being built like many other roads across country.
“The Limulungu – Mongu road being considered and the construction will soon be put in motion. The project will extend to the Kalabo – Sikoongo road. This project will link Zambia to Angola.”
The minister also noted that his ministry is working closely with area MPs to construct up to 10, 000km in ten provinces.
“The 10 000 rural connective will be done at the cost $200, 000.”
Hon. Chitotela said it was important for the government to work on all these projects to create a better economic base in the country.
He said there will be no economic advancement that has been recorded in the world over without proper road network.
He said the PF government will stop at nothing in its quest to create a solid economic foundation in the country.