HOUSING and Infrastructure Development Minister Vincent Mwale says a number of unplanned events have affected the completion of certain projects of Zambia.

Mwale was responding to a question from Luena UPND member of parliament David Kundoti, who wanted to find out why a number of projects across the country had stalled.

“May I know, has there been some financial planning, and if they have been financial planning towards these projects, why are we seeing these projects stalling, like not just in Chipili (District), but almost nationwide? Limulunga is one of them. The new district projects, houses are stalled. All I want to know is, if ever there was financial planning and money was set aside for these projects, why have they stalled?” questioned Kundoti.

Earlier, Chipili Independent member of Parliament Jewis Chabi asked Mwale when the construction of the district administration block, civic centre and post office would be completed in the district and what had caused the delay in completing the projects.

But Mwale explained that a number of unplanned events, such as the passing of late president Micheal Sata, had affected the completion of these projects.

“Definitely, there have been plans, government presents a budget every year, which is a financial plan of what it intends to achieve in a particular year. In fact, we do have a Medium-Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) that gives us room and plans for three years. But Mr Speaker, we have had a lot of unplanned events that have happened in this country that affected our plans. We never expected to have a loss of the Head of State and have a national funeral, which then led into an unplanned election. We ended up having elections in two years, two elections in 2015, 2016,” Mwale replied.

“Then, we also had a drought in this country, which affected our power production, we had to import power at a huge cost. So, within the last seven years, this country has seen so many unplanned events that have cost us a lot of money. Now, we are looking at COVID-19. Mr Speaker, so many things have happened in this country in the last eight years that have really affected our plans and that is why we find ourselves in this position. Mr Speaker, all things being equal, we should have completed these structures a long time ago and I think this time we could be looking at new ones.”

He, however, outlined that despite the delayed completion of certain projects, government had registered success in developing the country’s infrastructure.

“However, even though we have had this situation, we have seen ourselves achieving a number of things. We have a number of successes and also, we have issues that we are still dealing that we will be able to deal with. Not all has been lost and this government has done its best and that is why people continue showing confidence in us. There is improvement on many of these projects that we have in the districts. Some 12 months ago were at 70 per cent, and are now at 95 per cent; some which were 30 per cent are about 60 per cent and that is why I have given a timeline of December because I am very hopeful that the progress that we are making will see us through. And by December, we should have most of these projects handed over to people to use. We have been tracking projects, year-by-year, and it is very significant,” said Mwale.