Minister of Housing and Infrastructure Development Ronald Chitotela says the massive cracks which are developing on some roads has got nothing to do with shoddy works.
And Chitotela has told critics that contrary to their assertions, the Road development Agency (RDA) is not controlled by State House but it is supervised by his ministry.
Responding to a question from Chikankata member of parliament Kabwe Mwiinga, who wanted to know whether RDA was doing shoddy resulting in serious damages within a short period of time yesterday, Chitotela insisted that the collapse of some roads was due to natural occurrences.
“I just stated that the Maamba-Batoka road was built 10- 12 years ago, and then the failure of the road along Luangwa Bridge it was a result of the movement in earth, it does not suggest shoddy works. It is a natural calamity which can even happen here where we are sitting Mr Speaker, so it has nothing to do with shoddy works,”Chitotela said.
And Chitotela said RDA was not controlled by State House.
He was responding to a question from Kabompo member of parliament who attributed lack of good quality roads to corruption and State House’s involvement in RDA.
“And the other notion I must dispel Mr Speaker, is the notion that RDA is under State House. RDA is under the Ministry of Housing and infrastructure development. That is why, Mr Speaker, I am in charge of that department. I did even dissolve the board of RDA after their mandate expired, and the mandate to appoint to supervise the board is vested in the ministry responsible for housing and infrastructure development. So then, I remember because then the late President His Excellencey, President Michael Chilufya Sata did say that for quicker supervision of RDA, [it] would be domiciled at State House, that did not mean that the functions and controlling of RDA moved into State House,” Chitotela said.
He said corruption was nonexistent in the road sector.
“And then the perception in terms of corruption, Mr Speaker, I have sat in that ministry for almost six months now, it’s just an institution which is politicized, some of the projects that are done Mr Speaker, if we talk about Kalabo-Mongu road, that project was done under EPC+F, a contractor sources the money in China and the Chinese contractor comes to work in Zambia, the money is paid in China, I don’t understand how corruption can come in and say the Zambian was compromised thus why I’m saying it is a perception which is stronger than reality ,” he said.
And the housing minister pledged to construct good quality roads to land-link the country.
“Allow me to conclude by re-affirming that the Ministry of Housing and Infrastructure Development through the Road Development Agency will continue to work tirelessly to ensure to that roads of good quality are constructed in our quest to transform Zambia from being the landlocked to the land linked,” said Chitotela.