Opposition Green Party of Zambia Leader, PETER SINKAMBA has noted that the 247 million kwacha which government has earmarked to spend on modernizing infrastructure in Lusaka so as to make it a World class capital city, is a drop in the ocean.
Recently, Lusaka Province Minister JAPHEN MWAKALOMBE revealed that cabinet approved a 247 million kwacha master plan for infrastructure development to decongest the capital city.
Mr. MWAKALOMBE said Government, through the Ministry of Local Government, has approved the master plan under the Japan International Cooperation Agency.
BUT according to Mr. SINKAMBA, that amount, which is approximately 27.2 million United States dollars, is only sufficient to road infrastructure in the CBD of Lusaka City, and not the entire city.
The objective for modernizing infrastructure should is targeted at decongesting traffic in the Central business district with a view of making it one of the most livable cities in the world.
However, MR. SINKAMBA said that in order to achieve that objective, the City of Lusaka needs not less 5 billion United States dollars, largely due to the compensation to be made for persons and business entities whose properties will be demolished.
In the meantime, Minister of National Planning, Mr. LUCKY MULUSA has proposed relocating the capital city to Ngabwe in Central Province.
The Minister has argued that it is extremely expensive for government to undertake a massive urban renewal programme to turn Lusaka into a smart, sustainable, green city.
But Mr. MWAKALOMBE said that proposals of moving the capital city to another place are irrelevant, and advised the general public to ignore such pronouncements.
At the moment, Lusaka hosts the “Big 6” developmental nodes, namely, the executive, legislature, judiciary, commerce, tourism and manufacturing.
The opposition Leader also disagrees with the proposal by Mr. MULUSA of adopting the one-size-fits-all approach to address the Lusaka sustainability problem.
Mr. SINKAMBA has insisted that Lusaka remains the commercial and manufacturing capital of Zambia while Ngabwe could host the judicial capital.
He has suggested that the legislature could be moved to Mongu in Western Province, while the tourism capital could remain in Southern Province in Livingstone.
Mr. SINKAMBA stated that there will be need to construct state-of-art conferencing facilities in Livingstone similar to the ones in Cape Town, Durban and Sandton, as well as upgrade other social amenities so that Zambia starts attracting high profile international conferences on regular basis.
He concludes by imploring the current government to rethink the two proposed spatial planning interventions. Both are unsustainable in the long term.
This is according to a statement issued to 5FM Radio by Mr. PETER SINKAMBA, the party president for the Green party of Zambia.