Kasama PF member of parliament Kelvin Sampa says the Ministry of Local Government misapplied money meant for the construction of a bus terminus and Civic Centre in his constituency.
And Sampa has revealed that supermarket chain store, Choppies, plans to construct a shopping mall at Kasama Primary School.
Speaking during a BBC Media Action sponsored program dubbed “Ishiwi lya Mano” on Radio Mano in Kasama, Sampa said when the Treasury released the money, there was no instruction from the Ministry of Finance on what it was meant for.
“Concerning the bus terminus…the challenge that was there is that the initial design that was made for the bus terminus are not the ones that have been used. So since the contractor made their own design, they have to be paid by the contracting client which is the government through the Ministry of Local Government. So they were complaining that they have not been paid money for the design but they have been receiving money to proceed with the contract. That’s why I started negotiating with them even through the minister. In fact, there was a mistake from the Ministry of Finance, the Minister of Finance sent the money to the Ministry of Local Government without instructions that the money was for the construction of the civic center and the bus terminus and when the money arrived at the Ministry of Local Government, they diverted that money to something else,” Sampa said.
“And you know how government works, that money had already worked and it had to take time for that money to be reimbursed. That’s why there was a delay. The contractor also refused to come on site after being paid as they were demanding more money until we pleaded with him.”
Sampa disclosed that two million kwacha had been released for the rehabilitation of Kasama General Hospital.
“Similarly, if we look at Kasama General Hospital, people are complaining that it is looking like a poultry, they are saying a lot of things. So I told the minister that first things first, before we start working on the completion of the construction of the hospital because that is part of the government agenda; to complete the construction of the hospital which started in 1972. Let’s make the hospital habitable so that when people come to the hospital, they can say indeed we are here to be healed not when they come to the hospital they feel like they are at the departure lounge. So what are we doing first? Rehabilitation! You even heard that K2 million was released for the rehabilitation of the hospital. This coming year 2018 the construction will now start, to complete the other wing which has not been completed since 1972,” he said.
Sampa however lamented that it was difficult to create jobs for people due to lack of industries in the area.
“If you observe here in Kasama, we do not have industries, we cannot say we can focus on finding jobs for people that cannot work. The only thing that can work here in Kasama is to focus on Agriculture and Tourism. This is why I am very involved in ensuring that Kasama Airport is completed so that at least people can know the tourism destination of our area. If you look at Chishimba falls, it is the second highest revenue collection next from Livingstone, but if we go to Chishimba falls, we see no infrastructure to attract tourists there. This is why I am advertising that we have an industry in tourism that would help to empower the local people. Apart from that, it is only Agriculture that can help us to empower our people especially that the road network has been opened up to Northern province such as the Luwingu-Mansa road which goes up to Congo, the Congolese can easily come to Northern Province and buy farm produce, Tanzanians can also easily come to Northern Province and conduct business,” said Sampa.
And Sampa disclosed that Choppies planned to construct a shopping mall at Kasama Primary School.
“You may wish to know that Choppies has entered into partnership with the government. The government through the Ministry of General Education has agreed to give them land at Kasama Primary School that is where they will construct the shopping mall. I also told them (Choppies) since they suggested themselves that through social corporate responsibility, they will construct the wall fence for the school and construct a 1 by 4 one floor classroom and also rehabilitate all the damaged classrooms and paint them. I will soon sit down with the Permanent Secretary and the director of planning of the Ministry of General Education so that we finalise everything. The model they are using is similar to the one used at East Park Shopping Mall in Lusaka. That place on which they have built East Park Mall is the land of the University of Zambia, that’s the one they will use even here,” said Sampa.