-Government says the long awaited construction of the D769 road under the Link Zambia 8000 Project is expected to commence by March this year.
Deputy Minister of Youth and Sports, Christopher Mulenga has disclosed this today in Itezhi Tezhi during his familiarization tour of the district.
Mr Mulenga said that government is committed to improving the D769 road due to its strategic importance.
“The contract for the construction of the road has already been signed and in 4-5 weeks time, you will see contractors beginning to mobilize,” he said.
Mr Mulenga said that the delay in the implementation of the construction of the road has been due to the complex procurement procedure stipulated by the Zambia Public Procurement Act (ZPPA).
The deputy minister urged people who were planning to demonstrate against the delayed reconstruction of the road to desist from doing so as contractors will be on site soon.
“Iam reliably informed that some people were planning to demonstrate against the perceived delay in constructing the road, it is not necessary because government is ahead of them and works are scheduled to commence within 4-5 weeks time,” the Deputy Minister said.
He said that government has expedited the construction of the road due to important economic activities taking place in the district such as the construction of the 120 MW hydro electric power stations.
Mr Mulenga has also pointed out that Itezhi Tezhi district has attracted a lot of attention by the Patriotic Front government due to great economic potential of the district.
He informed the people of Itezhi Tezhi that government will not only construct the D769 road but will also construct about 14 kilometres of township roads in the district.
“Itezhi Tezhi district is one of the districts that will benefit from the paving of all township roads apart from the construction of the main road which links the district to Mongu-Lusaka road,” he said.
And Mr Mulenga has directed Itezhi Tezhi District Commissioner Roy Nang’alelwa to ensure that only local youths resident in Itezhi Tezhi are given jobs when the contractor commences the project.
“We do not want to import youths from other parts of the country to work on the local roads, ensure that local youths are all employed in these road projects. When the contractor pays courtesy call on you tell him about government position on employing local youths,” Mr Mulenga said.
Meanwhile the deputy minister said government has revised the youth policy in order to re-align with PF government manifesto.
He said that new policy which will be launched soon is focusing on job creation in many ways and that the Youth Development Fund will continue under the new policy but with increased funding in order to carter more youths.
The Deputy Minister explained that the new policy also seeks to mainstream youth programmes in all sectors.
Mr. Mulenga observed that under the revised policy, government will set up sports centres in all districts and that this will help in identifying talent from all parts of the country.
The Deputy Minister addressed youths and civil servants at Lima Hall before a site visit to the proposed land for the construction of a youth centre.