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PRESIDENT LUNGU SPEAKS TOUGH AGAINST COSTLY SYSTEMATIC PROJECT VARIATIONS

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President Edgar Lungu delivering his speech at the EIZ Annual General Meeting in Livingstone

President Edgar Lungu has expressed concern at the current project costs escalated through systematic variations in the country.
He said this at AVANI Hotel when he officiated at the Engineering Institution of Zambia (EIZ) annual symposium and annual general meeting under the theme ‘Sustainable National Development: Issues and Challenges for Zambia’s Development Agenda,’ on 26th April, 2019.
President Lungu said if the trend was left unchecked, it had the potential to erode the achievements that had been made so far.
He urged the Engineers to ensure that everything was factored in before venturing into a project to avoid paying more than what is budgeted for.
“I have said it before and I will say it again in a very harsh tone that I will not tolerate this unethical behavior, Mr. president (EIZ) and it needs to be curtailed henceforth,” President Lungu said.
President Lungu however, said he was confident that the engineering fraternity could make immense contributions by devising innovative solutions to the country’s development challenges and that this could only happen if Engineers were dynamic and practical.
And President Lungu has challenged the EIZ to be more proactive in finding locally grown solutions which would unlock the nation’s potential.
Mr. Lungu observed that the current situation where the country seemed to rely much on imported solutions to address local problems must end.
“I am confident that the engineering fraternity can make immense contributions by devising innovative solutions to Zambia’s development challenges,” Mr. Lungu said.
President Lungu said this could only happen when the country had dynamic, practical and forward-looking men and women in the leadership of EIZ.
“Further, there is need for you as an institution and a profession to seriously invest in research and development, for engineering to contribute to the country’s development aspiration. For this reason, our country needs a cadre of enterprising Engineers to revolutionize the practice of engineering for the country to reduce on importation of technology.
“Therefore, as you deliberate at this symposium, I implore you to focus on addressing the challenges that undermine the contribution of engineering to the development of our country. This is important because we have reached a stage where we need to harness the human capital endowment to respond to the challenges facing our country,” Mr. Lungu said.
And EIZ president Sydney Matamwandi commended Government for its support to the engineering profession in the country.
Eng. Matamwandi thanked President Lungu for being the first Republican President to officiate at the EIZ symposium and annual general meeting since its inception 64 years ago.
Eng. Matamwandi said that the institution was impressed with the progress the industry had made over the years but acknowledged that more needed to be done by individual professions and the institution.

He pledged EIZ’s support to the Government, pointing out that the vision 2030 of the Government and that of his organization was intertwined and shared the same aspirations.

(L- R) RDA Director Communications and Corporate Affairs Masuzyo Ndhlovu explaining to President Edgar C. Lungu when he visited the RDA stand while Minister of Housing and Infrastructure Development Hon. Ronald K. Chitotela looks on.

 

The President also took time to tour the Expo stands.
The President toured RDA stand where he urged the Agency to begin testing materials for constructing houses to avoid houses collapsing in case of adverse climate change effects.
During this year’s, Symposium, the President conferred Fellows which is the highest class of membership in the Institution.

48-YEAR-OLD MAN JAILED 5 YEARS FOR VANDALIZING ROAD SIGNAGE

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The Lusaka High Court has sentenced a 48-year-old man of Ngwerere Township to 5 years imprisonment with hard labour for vandalizing road signs along the newly constructed Ngwerere Road in Lusaka.
This was after he uprooted the road signs along the newly constructed Ngwerere Road under the L400 Phase II.
Steven Sinkamba, 48 of Ngwerere Township was initially charged with sabotage and malicious damage but the charge was later reduced to vandalism contrary to 341 J of the Penal Code of the Laws of Zambia.
This was after Sinkamba pleaded guilty to the amended charge.
Particulars are that on dates unknown but in October 2018, Sinkamba was apprehended by Police along Ngwerere Road for allegedly vandalizing road signage.
The convict is alleged to have been using the signage steel post for the production of tools such as hoes, axes, spears and brick molds.
Meanwhile, the Road Development Agency (RDA) has welcomed the court verdict and has warned would be offenders to be wary of the full wrath of the law.
Director Communications and Corporate Affairs Masuzyo Ndhlovu commended law enforcement officers for swiftly moving in and arresting the offender.
“This should act a warning to those in the habit of vandalizing road signage or indeed any other road furniture that is built at a huge cost using tax payer’s money,” he said shortly after the verdict was passed.
Mr. Ndhlovu appealed to citizens to be alert in communities and report to police those found vandalizing road furniture with impunity.

CHIEF BUNDA BUNDA UPBEAT ON ENCROACHMENTS

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Chief Bunda Bunda of the Soli speaking people of Rufunsa District.

 

Chief Bunda Bunda of the Soli speaking people of Rufunsa District has welcomed the move by the Road Development Agency (RDA) to sensitize people on road reserve encroachment and vandalism of road furniture.
The traditional leader has also called for constant sensitization on the ills of road encroachments as well as vandalism of road furniture.
Chief Bunda Bunda further called upon all traditional leaders to embrace the campaign and stop people from settling on road reserves.
“We hope each and every traditional leader will get this message as the encroachment impact on our social and economic prosperity. What we need is constant explanation to the people,” he said.
The traditional leader was speaking when a delegation from RDA paid a courtesy on him at his palace.

Chief Bunda Bunda said his chiefdom was well ahead in the sensitization drive and it was working with the ministry of Lands on the land auditing and social mapping.
He urged his subjects to stay away from road reserves and not burden the Government with compensations in an event of road expansion.
Chief Bunda Bunda invited the RDA to be part of the traditional meetings held quarterly so that the Agency could have an opportunity to speak to the people on road reserves and vandalism of road furniture.
“It carries more weight when the message is delivered from the horse’s mouth,” he said.
Meanwhile, Chieftainess Mumpansha of the Futwe Royal Establishment in Rufunsa District was also equally concerned with increasing number of structures that had been built near the road which she said was posing a safety hazard to owner and customers.
She urged the RDA to sensitization the Indunas (headmens) who were responsible for the allocation of land and the people building on road reserves.

Chiefteiness Mumpansha of the Soli speaking people in Rufunsa District

And Rufunsa Council Secretary Mr. Mwape Katemwe gave a directive to his planners to be cautious of the road reserves when giving out land.
Mr. Katemwe assured RDA that the road reserve areas would not be allocated for any use other than what they were reserved for.

Rufunsa District Council Environmental Planner Ms. Thokozile Kapembwa appealed to RDA to ensure that the road signs in Rufunsa were visible.
RDA Acting Principal Environmentalist Mr. Gershom Chilukusha said it was regrettable that the people had continued to encroach on road reserves.
Mr. Chilukusha warned that the law would take its course if people who were squatting on road reserves did not vacate voluntarily.
The RDA team which comprised of acting Principal Environmentalist Mr. Gershom Chilukusha, Principal Communications Officer, Mr. Anthony Mulowa, Sociologist Ms. Oivy Hamududu and Assistant Customer Care Officer Ms. Peggy Mwanza were on a sensitization campaign in Rufunsa district on road reserve encroachments and vandalism of road signs.
Mr. Mulowa warned against vandalism of road signage and other road furniture as it was not only a cost burden to the Government but also safety concern.

 

(R-L) Principal Communications Officer Mr. Anthony Mulowa, Sociologist Ms. Ivy Hamududu and Assistant Customer Care Officer Ms. Peggy Mwanza.

Acting Principal Environmentalist Mr. Gershom Chilukusha speaking during a courtesy call at Chieftainess Mumpansha’s Palace alongside Principal Communications Officer Mr. Anthony Mulowa.

 

ACROW BRIDGE COMPONENTS ROLL IN

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Ministry of Housing and Infrastructure Development (MHID) Permanent Secretary Eng. Charles Mushota inspects a box containing pre-fabricated Bridge components at RDA Mumbwa road workshop in Lusaka

The Government through the Road Development Agency (RDA) has acquired over 131 pre-fabricated modular arrow 700XS steel panel Bridges from Acrow Corporation of America at a total cost of US$73, 776,849.
The Acrow Bridge project has been planned to be implemented in seven provinces which include Northern, Muchinga, Lusaka, North- Western, Luapula, Eastern and Central.
Ministry of Housing and Infrastructure Development (MHID) Permanent Secretary Eng. Charles Mushota received the first Bridge components of the over 131 pre-fabricated modular arrow 700XS steel panel Bridges.
Eng. Mushota said that following a number of washed-away Bridges, the Government entered into a contract with Acrow Corporation of America for the arrangement of financing, design, fabrication and delivery of the Bridges.

Eng. Charles Mushota (left) giving a speech during the arrival of the first batch of acquired Acrow Bridge components. On the right is RDA Director Communications and Corporate Affairs Mr. Masuzyo Ndhlovu.

“This project which is referred to as the Acrow Bridge project is being financed through a credit agreement entered between the ministry of Finance, the Export Import Bank of the United States of America and Citi Bank. However, the Government of the republic of Zambia is expected to provide resources for the construction of the sub-structures (Abutments and piers) and installation of the Bridges,” he said.
Eng. Mushota also said that RDA was currently in the process of engaging a contractor for the construction and installation of 20 bridges in Eastern province and the works were expected to commence in second quarter of 2019 and thereafter roll out the installations to other provinces.
RDA senior management led by Director and Chief Executive Officer Eng. Elias Mwape were also at hand to witness the arrival of the first batch of Bridge components at RDA Mumbwa road workshop in Lusaka.
The process of delivery of the bridges is expected to end by the month end of June 2019.

 

Photo focus

 

MHID Permanent Secretary Eng. Charles Mushota with Acrow Corporation of America Representative Mr. Lenox Duggan

(R-L) RDA Director and CEO Eng. Elias Mwape, Director Road Maintenance Eng. William Mulusa (partly obscured), Director Finance Eng. Kapembwa Mulenga and Senior Manager Bridges and Emergencies Eng. Mubuyeata Kapinda witnessing the arrival of the first batch of bridge component

MHID Permanent Secretary Eng. Charles Mushota breaks the seal on the container

(L-R) Senior Manager Bridges Eng. Steven Sondashi stressing a point to MHID Permanent Secretary Eng. Charles Mushota (in yellow hard hat). Looking on is RDA Director and CEO Eng. Elias Mwape (centre).