Speaking when he officiated at the diversion of Kafue River to mark the construction of the US$2 billion Kafue Gorge Lower hydro power plant dam, which is expected to be completed in mid-2020, President Lungu said he will not be distracted by people making baseless allegations of corruption each time government unveils a major project.
President Lungu has come under intense pressure for stakeholders who feel there is massive corruption involved in the US$1.2 billion Lusaka – Ndola road; procurement of 42 fire engines at US$42 million, the phasing out of Hiace or small minibuses next year and now the engagement of an Israeli company to administer Road Traffic and Safety Agency (RTSA).
But President Lungu said the interest of his critics was to cause fear so that government does not implement massive developmental projects around the country.
The Head of State stressed that his government remained resolved in ensuring that it delivers according to promises it made to Zambians during the 2016 general elections.
President Lungu said this when he officiated at the diversion of Kafue River to mark the construction of the US$2 billion Kafue Gorge Lower hydro power plant dam.
President Lungu vowed to fast track all long delayed developmental projects and reiterated that his government would continue to deliver development in accordance to the law.
He wondered why for 14 years the Kafue Gorge Lower hydro power plant dam was not being implemented despite visibility studies being done.
President Lungu said he would continue to make bold decisions, especially on projects that benefit the majority Zambians.
He said he was ready to lose popularity for making bold decisions aimed at spurring national developmental.
President Lungu explained that the completion of the Kafue Gorge Lower Hydro power project would help to address the power deficit in the country.
And speaking earlier at the same function, Southern Province minister Edify Hamukale praised President Lungu for making a bold decision to kickstart the hydropower project.
He noted the project would benefit the entire country.
Chinese ambassador to Zambia Yang Youming, who witnessed the event, assured President Lungu that China would continue to support government’s infrastructure development agenda.
Ambassador Yang said the construction of the Kafue Gorge Lower hydro power project would help in improving the social economic welfare of local communities.
He noted that power is critical in driving the country’s economy and commended the government for using natural resources to enhance development in the country.
He said China recognised the efforts the Zambian government was making in spearheading developmental projects.
Energy minister David Mabumba disclosed that 4,000 jobs would be created during the peak of the project and that currently 3,000 jobs had been created since 2015.
He said Zambia stood to be a power hub for the region once the 750 megawatts project is completed.
In a vote of thanks, senior Chieftainess Nkomenshya Mukamambo II thanked President Lungu for gracing the occasion.
She saluted Zesco for following laid down procedures when acquiring land from traditional leaders.
The senior chief urged other companies to emulate Zesco when embarking on projects that involve customary land.