Northern Province Minister Brian Mundubile says the Investment Expo scheduled to be held alongside the end of World War One Centenary commemoration will expose potential tourism in various areas of the province.

Speaking during the Red Hot Breakfast show, Tuesday, Mundubile said the K15 million which had been released for both events would be shared amongst the provincial administration; Ministry of Defence; Ministry of Tourism and Art; Ministry of Commerce and the Ministry of Housing and Infrastructure Development to enable them fulfil their various respective obligations.

Mundubile explained that there would be a ceremonial recovery of some of the weapons that were used in the First World War, also referred to as the Great War, by the military commandos, which would be kept in Motomoto Museum in Mbala.

“First and foremost, the President has told us to take advantage of hosting the tourism and investment expos in our various provinces in order to expose the tourism potential in those various areas. The importance of this is that, most parts of our country host a number of advantages in both the tourism and commerce [sectors]. Now, what we are doing is trying to raise respective GDPs of various provinces so that we begin to industrialise, attract investment so that we can create employment and our ultimate aim is to reduce poverty. So, what every province has planned is to host a tourism and investment Expo. And for Northern Province, when we decided to host the centenary celebrations, which was to mark 100 years after the end of the First World War. We realise that that is an historical event, it’s a prestigious event, which attracts people from all over the world. Therefore, we found it opportune to host our tourism investment Expo alongside this particular event,” Mundubile explained.

“And maybe, just by way of brief background, this particular event is very important to this country and we know that after the successful hosting of this event, it will improve tourist visitations to Zambia and not only Northern Province. You remember that the world believes that the World War actually ended on the 11th of November in 1918, and we’ve been celebrating that for a very long time. But in the actual sense, the war ended in Zambia exactly on the 25th of November, 1918. So, my administration, when we stumbled upon this very important piece of history, we decided to run with it, we felt it was very important for the world to know the truth and coincidentally, this year is the 100 years after the first World War, meaning that the centenary celebrations was to be used to drum up this particular event and showcase Northern Province and Zambia. Of course, the information has been there, but my administration thinks that this adds the new information to our tourism space and we better drum it up and blow it so that we can showcase Zambia.”

He assured callers, who felt that the money allocated to the hosting of the two events was too much, insisting that the allotted funds were going to be used for the intended purposes.

“This particular event is a military event, ordinarily promoted by the Ministry of Defence. So, we have five ministries co-sponsoring this event. My provincial administration; Ministry of Defence; Ministry of Tourism and Arts; Ministry of Commerce and to breakdown the K15 million, which I heard was much of the concern to most of the callers…what is actually contained there is that each Ministry or spending agency, for instance Ministry of Defence, Ministry of Defence will take care of whatever relates to military parade, recovery of weapons and the costs that surround that within their budget, but contributing to the centenary,” Mundubile, who also doubles as PF Chairperson for legal affairs, explained.

“The Ministry of Infrastructure will come into Mbala and begin to improve the road network and other infrastructure to prepare for the event, it’s all within that K15 million. So, what we have are line ministries spending within their budget towards the centenary. So, this is money they would have spent much later, they would have decided to paint the building maybe next year. All we have done is to ask them to paint the buildings now because of the event. They would have decided to do the roads next year or any other time, but we’ve asked them to do the roads now because of the event. So, all that is within the expenditure amounting to K15 million.”

And Mundubile said the costs of recovering the said weapons was quite insignificant to be included in the K15 million because that task had been assigned to the military commandos.

“The cost is insignificant because, really, we are using our commandos. I know that people would begin to understand the expenditure to relate to the recovery of weapons, we have been recovering those weapons for a very long time. In fact, some of the weapons are already in the museum, so during the centenary celebrations, there will be a ceremonial recovery of weapons. Our divers will go into the lake and if they are lucky they will come out with some more weapons. But predominantly, most of those weapons are actually in the Motomoto Museum. So, the cost associated to the recovery is very insignificant, it can’t even be talked about because our commandos are going to go there to recover the weapons,” said Mundubile.

“So, when they are recovered they will be kept in the museum, we have been keeping them for a very long time, they’ve been there. The point, really, there is that there are a lot of weapons that we’ve recovered already and they are in the museum. So, additional weapons that will be recovered will also be in the museum. It forms part of our tourism products. So, as Northern Province we are very excited with this event because where we have been to showcase this event, it has raised a lot of interest. So, what we will see is that the families of those World War One victims will be there on the 25th [of November], and they will continue coming to this country to come and see the gun that fired the last shorts of the First World War. So, this will place Zambia on the world tourism map because it’s a new discovery! They will change the dates and we will begin to celebrate the end of World War One on the 25th of November, so we are very excited about this.”