UPND has warned that the US$1.2 billion Lusaka-Ndola Carriageway will land people in prison should they fail to account for the expenditure in the near future.
In a statement issued yesterday, UPND vice-president said his party was happy with the road development, but described the cost as outrageous and mind boggling.
“This new Contract, ironically awarded to China Jiangxi, is just mind boggling, outrageous and a serious scandal that might land people in prison should there be accountability in the near future. There is no sensible way a kilometer can cost a ridiculous US$3,7 million. This simply means that over US$3,3 million per kilometer is going into people’s pockets, a huge scandal that should worry every well meaning Zambian,” GBM said.
“UPND is not at all opposed to the project, in actual fact, the dual carriage way was supposed to run from Livingstone to Solwezi. What is of major concern to us is the quoted amounts for the project. The construction of the Ndola-Lusaka dual carriageway that Mr Edgar Lungu commissioned on 8th September, in Chibombo is one of the greatest scandals of our time.”
He said the PF government was spending less on roads and pocketing the difference.
“Roads have generally been expensive in Zambia as compared to other SADC countries. The PF government has been pegging road contracts at a whooping One million US dollars (US$1 million) per kilometer, whereas other countries in the region have been spending only Four hundred thousand US dollars (US$400,000) per kilometer. The good question that a responsible citizen should therefore ask is where the US$600,000 per kilometer balance goes to. Zambians will realize that the PF government spends less on roads and more on enriching themselves,” GBM observed.
“Zambians should at least appreciate the simple fact that the PF government is a highly corrupt government with no good intentions for the general populace apart from enriching themselves. The UPND has, times without number, pointed out the thieving, by a select few in government, that takes place in road contracts even as early as 2012. This is the very reason the Road Development Agency was put under State House, entirely for easy access and control of such contracts and funds.”
He observed that the amount of money that the country was going to spend on the road construction was enough to build a High Way from Lusaka to Johannesburg.
“The money assigned to a kilometer is enough to make 8 extra kilometers, which means 2,568 extra kilometers can be made by the end of this project, if we had a responsible government. To bring this into perspective, the distance from Zambia to South Africa is 2,000 kilometres – this means we, as a country, have enough money to make a tarred road of good quality from Lusaka to Johannesburg,” said GBM.
“We sincerely ask the PF government to introspect for once and put citizens first. There is too much, without need to mention anything, that can be achieved using this money for the benefit of citizens. At the end of it all, someone one day will have to account for this recklessness.