Works and Supply Minister Felix Mutati says governments needs approximately 180, 000 square meters of office space in order to meet the demand of the rapidly expanding public service.
Speaking in an interview after he launched the International market sounding symposiums on behalf of Vice-President Inonge Wina at Government Complex Thursday, Mutati said government was only exchanging ideas with the private sector and to get expertise concepts on how it could create office space from available assets.
“We want to migrate from ‘who have you come to see?’ to ‘what can I do for you?’, and that is the future of government. As government we are saying we need to enhance public service delivery by creating adequate office space. You may wish to know that in 2011, we had about 160, 000 civil servants. This year we have got 220, 000 civil servants against office space. We are saying to ourselves that we need to create space of at least a 180, 000 square meters to meet our demands. We are looking for success. We are no longer a government that formulates straight jacket solutions because it’s your money and your money is important,” said Mutati.
On the planned redevelopment of Jacaranda school, Mutati said no monies would exchanged hands without following the due process of the law.
“What I am begging from you the press is that don’t create unnecessary anxiety on something which does not exists. There is no sale of Jacaranda. We came here for market sounding, to exchange ideas, to get the expertise of the private sector so that we can refine the concept into something that is doable, that is viable. Once we collect the issues and the comments from the private sector, then we are going to put these things together. And we are saying today, there is no expression of interests, there is no building or bidding, there is no contractor, there is no interested party, we are just Zambians exchanging on the common platform that we can advance the calls of this country going forward,” Mutati said.
He said every step of the redevelopment process would be communicated and publicised.
“No money will be exchanged unless we follow the due process of the law and that is all we are saying. So the concepts that we have today will be washed up, will be refined and the private sector will tell us what is doable. After refinement, we are going to place it in the paper so that the private sector can compete on the basis of a technical solution, on the basis of a viable financial solution and a decision will be made. So the only thing I can ask from you is, tell it as it is. Don’t use creativity in telling stories. So for Hubert young, there is the option of a hotel, there is the option of an office space and those are the things that are going to be verified. So you are going to have a super building next to Pamodzi, next to Jacaranda,” said Mutati.
“We have to think as a nation that you can’t live with goodness here and with badness there, that is not the way forward. It is possible that we can redevelop Jacaranda so that it’s put up as a modern school next to beautiful things. You can’t be in a family where one is beautiful [and] one is ugly, no, everyone must be washed. So what is wrong with washing? So there is no sale as I have heard, there is no deal as I have heard, we are just as open as practically possible. And we are going to be publishing every step in the press of what we are doing.”