HID MINISTER TOURS ROAD PROJECTS ON COPPERBELT

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On Sunday September 17, 2017, Housing and Infrastructure minister Ronald Chitotela in the company of senior Road Development Agency (RDA) officials toured road infrastructure projects from Ndola to Solwezi. RDA officials in the minister’s entourage included, Director Construction and Rehabilitation Eng. George Manyele, acting Director Communications and Corporate Affairs, Mr. Anthony Mulowa and Copperbelt Regional Mananger Eng. Ziko Banda. The tour involved checking on road projects which included the Kitwe-Chingola dual carriageway, the much talked about Chingola-Solwezi road, bridges, walkways and other supporting facilities. Speaking when he checked works on a bridge at Copper Hill Mall in Kitwe, Hon. Chitotela said there was tremendous progress and works were at 73 per cent completion. He said there were no financial challenges on the project and urged the consultants to make sure the works were properly supervised and should not approve works not meeting specifications before certificates were issued.

Hon. Chitotela speaks to journalists during the tour of the projects


RDA Director Construction and Rehabilitation George Manyele said the bridge was part of the 45.5 kilometre Kitwe-Chingola dual carriageway.

The contract has awarded to Syno Hydro Construction Company and works on the Bridge are expected to be completed by October this year.

At Mwambashi Bridge just before Sabina turn-off, the minister said it was time for the country to reap from the investment as US$ 900 million was pumped in for the 45.5 kilometre road.

“So, since it is a dual carriageway we are talking about 90 kilometres not what other people are saying that Government is paying US$ 2 million per kilometer. The project also includes bridges which are costly,” he said He said the contractor was doing a good job and the Patriotic Front (PF) Government through the RDA will continue with projects started in 2011.

Left to right, Director Construction & Rehabilitation, Eng. George Manyele, Hon. Chitotela and Copperbelt Regional Manager Ziko Banda on the spot check of the rehabilitation of the Ndola-Kitwe dual carriageway

Mr Chitotela said Government wanted to reduce the travelling time between Kitwe and Chingola because of the huge traffic between the two towns.
He said the works on Mwambashi Bridge were at 80 per cent completion and by mid-October the road would be opened so that the other land could be worked on.
The Government will toll all economic roads for a return in investment and development will speak for itself.

On the 167 kilometre Chingola-Solwezi road, the minister said it was taking shape and people who used it six months ago would be surprised at the progress.

He commended the contractor China Geo which is working on the first 60 kilometre stretch under lot one and the RDA for the job well done.

He said the first 60 kilometres would be completed by the end of this year.

Eng. Manyele said so far 70 per cent works of the first lot had been completed under lot one and what remained was a toll plaza.

China Geo Chief engineer for lot one Xu Ling said the RDA had given his company 100 per cent support and there were no financial challenges.

He said by next month his company would finish its allocation of the Chingola-Solwezi road.

Mr Chitotela revealed that said Government had met its financial obligation on the roads from Ndola to Solwezi and K1.2 billion had been paid with the huge sum going to the Chingola-Solwezi road.

He said the total project sum was K1.9 billion and currently no contractor was owed any money for the works done.

He however, challenged Buildcon Construction that had been allocated 40 kilometres of the road under lot two to speed up the works.

He challenged the contractor to rise to the challenge and prepare payment certificates in order for the works to move fast.

Buildcon Construction managing director Moses Mubanga said works on the 40 kilometre stretch were on course.

Eng. Mubanga said that although the contract was up to July next year his company would have to compress the works in order to finish ahead of schedule.

He said there had been a lot of calls that the road should be completed this year but with support from the RDA the works would definitely progress.
China Geo lot three site manager Zhou Zhi Jian said the project was on course except that the company had to divert a river for the construction of the bridge before the road could be rolled out.

Under lot three the company is work on 67 kilometres of the road and turning a five kilomtre stretch in Solwezi into a duo carriageway.

The minister and the entourage at one of the culverts along the Kitwe-Chingola dual carriageway

The minister winded up his tour checking on some Solwezi township roads where he said Government would work on 25 kilometre township roads.

He also condemned people misleading Solwezi residents that it was mining companies that were working on some township roads in the district.

The minister said Government through the RDA was working on the roads in Solwezi and a five kilometer stretch in Kyawama was being turned into a dual carriageway.
He said he was disappointed that some people were telling residents that it was the mines that were working on the roads.

“This is a Government project and the private sector should not mislead people. Business houses should remain in busy and should not be involved in politics,” he said.
He said President Edgar Lungu had promised development to all parts of the country despite the voting patterns.

He said 25 kilometres of township roads in Solwezi would be worked.

Hon. Chitotela joins in compacting works on the culvert during the tour.