JOBS were on top of the agenda yesterday when President Sata launched the multi-million 45.5km Chingola-Kitwe dual carriage way that shall employ some 500 people directly and more indirectly during the construction stage.
President Sata, however, cautioned the contractors that they ought to give priority to local people before they can look beyond Kitwe and Chingola for expert skills.
He said the contractor, Sino Hydro Contractor, should only bring experts to help during the construction of the road.
“The Chinese contractor should only bring technicians, they must only bring engineers, these other workers should be Zambians,” President Sata said.
He directed that the Ministry of Transport, Works, Supply and Communications should ensure that local people are employed during the construction of the road.
“The ministry should inspect the personnel involved in the construction of the road to ensure that local people are given the jobs. If you want more money in your pockets, you must work hard,” he said.
President Sata said during the project launch at Chibote Secondary School grounds in Kitwe that the road is an extension from Ndola to Chingola.
He said Government will in future construct dual carriageways on the Sabina-Mufulira and Mufulira –Ndola roads.
President Sata said the project is testimony of Government’s commitment to investing heavily in the country’s infrastructure and creating jobs for Zambians.
“The project comprises the upgrading of the existing 45.5 kilometres to the north-bound carriage way from its junction at Kazembe road in Kitwe to Kasompe junction in Chingola.
“Further, the south bound carriageway consists of construction of the new asphalt carriageway. The scope of the works will include construction of a new bridge at Mwambashi road and reinforcement of the new bridge at the same location,” President Sata said.
He said the project will offer immense benefits to Copperbelt residents in particular and Zambians at large.
President Sata said the project will offer full realisation of linking Zambia as a land-linked hub for trade and investment in the southern and central African regions.
He said there is no doubt that Zambia is strategically positioned and that it is high time the country started exploiting its advantage to achieve better economic results.
The President reiterated Government’s commitment to improving the country’s infrastructure thereby maximising its full economic potential and create a better Zambia for everyone in line with the Patriotic Front manifesto.
Mr Sata said Africa should have developed a long time ago only if people reduced on talking and concentrated on working hard.
The project will be implemented over a period of two years and is expected to generate over 500 jobs during the construction period.
And President Sata toured the Presidential Lodge in Kitwe’s Ndeke township where he expressed disappointment with the state of the facility.
Mr Sata bemoaned the outlook of the lodge and urged Minister of Transport, Works, Supply, Transport and Communications Yamfwa Mukanga to ensure that the state of the lodge is improved.
“Mr Mukanga look at the grass, you can do something about this,” he said.
And Mr Mukanga said the construction of the Kitwe-Chingola dual carriageway is an important addition to the list of road projects that Government has embarked on countrywide.
Mr Mukanga said good roads are cardinal to sustainable development of the country.
And Copperbelt Minister Mwenya Musenge described the launch of the construction of the Kitwe-Chingola dual carriageway as an example of how action-oriented President Sata is.
President Sata was accompanied by First Lady Christine Kaseba, Mr Mukanga, Minister of Foreign Affairs Wylbur Simuusa, Mr Musenge and Road Development Agency chairman Willie Nsanda, among others.
The launch comes barely days after President Sata flagged off a US$360million international airport (KK) project that shall employ a thousand more Zambians.