PRESIDENT Edgar Lungu says while people are saying the economy is not booming, economic activities indicate that there is money in the economy and that people are living well.

Speaking during the commissioning of Munali Fly over bridge which is under the Lusaka Decongestion project, President Lungu said the project was necessitated by the increased congestion in Lusaka arising from the increased number of vehicles on the road which meant that people were living well.

“The Patriotic Front government has continued to facilitate the massive development of infrastructure across the country. Last year, in August and October, we opened to the public two flyover bridges under the Lusaka City Decongestion project at Makeni and Arcades, respectively. Today we bear witness to the opening of yet another bridge under the same project here at Munali. This is indeed unprecedented and the benefits of this infrastructure are for the people of Zambia. I remain grateful to the people and government of India for their continued partnership and support in changing the lives of the Zambian people,” President Lungu said.

“We have made huge strides in infrastructural development, yet this is only the beginning. As we transform the face of Lusaka, our country’s capital city and major economic hub, I wish to assure you that we will not leave the rest of our towns, whether urban or rural, behind. Much as we expect positive spillover effects of development in Lusaka to other parts of the country, we still prioritise their growth and will continue to foster integrated development. The significance of the Lusaka Decongestion Project to resolving the traffic problem in Lusaka cannot be overemphasized. This project was necessitated by increased congestion in Lusaka arising from increased number of vehicles on the roads. When you talk of increased numbers of vehicles on the road, it reminds us of one thing, the economy. People will tell you the economy is not booming, yet activities which indicate that there is money in the economy and people are living well are there for all to see. This is the contradiction of our political activity where you see white you insist it’s black.”

President Lungu said the country was on track as benefits of the Lusaka Decongestion project were already spilling to the economy.

“The effects of traffic congestion on productivity as well as standards of living on the people are dire, and ultimately impact the economy. My government understands and feels the pain and stress of road users caught up in traffic congestion and the negative impact it has on productivity and economic growth. We are therefore determined to push the infrastructure development agenda by providing adequate and quality roads that will promote mobility and ultimately enhance productivity, as well as, the standard of living for our people. I do believe that we are on the right track as we are already beginning to experience the benefits of the Lusaka Decongestion Project,” President Lungu said.

“This agenda places particular focus on the improvement of infrastructure across the country, including, the development of urban and feeder roads. Road development improves overall accessibility and reduces transportation costs. Therefore, our citizens will have improved access to goods and services. Further access to business opportunities will also improve. Ultimately, road development will increase economic productivity and development. Through the Lusaka City Decongestion Project, the PF government is improving mobility and access for our people in Lusaka. Further, the project has created over 1,000 direct jobs including several business opportunities for Zambians in different sectors. Through this project, families have been enabled to earn an income and sustain their lives.”

The Head of State said it was unfortunate that some people were not seeing the beautiful works of the PF government with regards to road and infrastructure development.

“I am certain that I speak for the Zambian citizens that a project such as the Lusaka Decongestion Project, which is a major contributor to the socio-economic development of this country, needs to be expedited and concluded to allow for more of such projects to be developed in other parts of our country. The benefits that accrue as a result of such projects should be enjoyed by all our people and not just those in Lusaka. I must mention that I am reasonably gratified by the progress made on the Lusaka City Decongestion project and look forward to having it concluded as soon as possible. Further, I wish to urge the team of engineers working on the project, under my Minister of Local Government, honourable Dr Charles Banda, to expedite the works with good workmanship as we look forward to the project’s completion. As we open the Munali Fly-over Bridge to the public today, we are all cognisant of the role that this bridge will play in easing the flow of traffic on the Great East Road. This bridge is part of the work in progress under the Lusaka Decongestion Project,” he said.

“The details of this project include a new outer ring road that has been built from Kafue Road to new Mumbwa Road. It further stretches from Lusaka West and joins the great north road. Works have advanced at the longacres roundabout for another fly-over bridge. works are also in progress at the Kabwe and Kafue fly-over bridges. Not only that, we have seen the expansion of roads at Mosi-O-Tunya, Chindo-Bishop, Kudu road and Kabulonga road, Friday’s Corner, Nangwenya-Kamloops-Alick Nkhata, and Longacres to Alick Nkhata. Also expanded is the Munali-Mutumbi Road, and the Zambezi Road, not far from here in Roma township. They can’t see all these things? You should tell them! We have heard that those who don’t appreciate beauty do not see anything good in beautiful things. For you my dear ladies those of you who are beautiful you know what I am talking about, if a man makes a pass at you and you ignore him the next thing you will get is lihule fye, that is a prostitute, that is what happens. Let us focus on our good works and the Zambian people who mean well will judge us on the 12th of August 2021.”

President Lungu said government would not be distracted by arm chair critics.

“I heard someone say the roads cannot change people’s lives. To the contrary, people’s lives have been changed for the better. And the good news is that the transformation we are seeing is for all to see. And I have already said those who can’t see are doing so deliberately, ignore them. Therefore, my government will not be distracted by the proverbial armchair critics. We know that you also use these roads and they unashamedly use these roads and they appreciate inside their hearts of hearts. We shall continue working for the majority of our people who are not as privileged as some of our critics, who talk ill of us yet they appreciate us deep down in their hearts. These people whether they are our detractors or ordinary Zambians who apolitical need improved infrastructure, like roads to get to the markets and farms in time. I, therefore, call upon all well meaning Zambians to ignore the naysayers. This government of PF cares for you and I care for you,” said President Lungu.