President Edgar Lungu has directed Minister of Transport and Communications Mutotwe Kafwaya to review laws relating to traffic offences to deter would-be offenders, saying recent accidents had been caused by human error.
And President Lungu says the rehabilitated Great East Road is a critical route that facilitates trade between Zambia and Malawi.
Speaking at the commissioning of the rehabilitated Great East Road in Chipata, Tuesday, President Lungu directed Kafwaya to review laws relating to traffic offences to deter would-be offenders, observing that recent accidents had been caused by human error.
He also directed that public transport vehicles without seat belts should be removed from the road.
“I have been disheartened, lately, by the spiralling rate of accidents across the country. My firm belief is that accidents across the country happen due to mechanical and human error. In the accidents that happened in recent times, I have been informed that they were caused by human errors. I am, therefore, directing the Minister of Transport and Communications to review laws relating to traffic offences to deter would-be offenders,” President Lungu ordered.
“I am also directing that public transport vehicles without seat belts for all passengers should be removed from the roads. I further urge the Road Transport and Safety Agency (RTSA) to enforce the law that bans people from travelling at the back of trucks and vans. I hope these measures will help reduce the number of fatal accidents.”
And President Lungu said the rehabilitated Great East Road was part of the regional Nacala Corridor that linked Malawi and Zambia to the deep-water port of Nacala in Mozambique, which made it a critical route to facilitate regional trade.
“It is a clear reflection of the PF government’s unwavering commitment to improving the road network across the country in particular and to delivering on our development promises to the Zambian people in general. It is this compelling vision, which has brought us here to commission the rehabilitated Great East Road. This is a critical road, not only to the development of Eastern Province, but also the country as a whole. The Great East Road is also part of the regional Nacala Corridor linking Malawi and Zambia to the deep-water port of Nacala in Mozambique. Further, the road is a major road that facilitates trade and investment in Eastern Province and Zambia in general. The road is an alternative route to the sea, hence critical to regional trade,” said President Lungu.
“Our cooperating partners include the European Union, through the European Development Fund, and the European Investment Bank, the French Agency for development and the African Development Bank (AfDB). They have provided financial support of about 67 million euros for lot 1; 43 million euros for lot 2 and 43 million euros for lot 3, bringing the total to 153 million euros. I would like to extend my government’s appreciation to the AfDB, which financially supported part of the rehabilitation of the Great East Road from Nyimba to Sinda at the cost of K509 million.”