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Current State House in good shape – Mulongoti

MIKE Mulongoti says the current State House is in good shape and does not require replacement, says Mike Mulongoti who once served as works and supply minister in the MMD government.

 
Works and supply minister Mathews Nkhuwa has revealed that government will spend US$20 million to erect a new State House.

 
Speaking during the Patriotic Front media interactive forum, Nkhuwa claimed that an inspection of State House’s main administration block established that the infrastructure, which was built before Zambia’s independence, more than 50 years ago, could collapse any moment.

 
“It’s a danger to people working there, the value for life is more than the cost [of building a new structure] because it’s not fit for human habitation. It’s a risk to continue working in there,” he said.

 
Nkhuwa said the area where the new State House would be constructed had not yet been identified, but that the current State House grounds could not be ruled out as there was adequate space for a new structure.

 
He said his ministry was working on ensuring that the cost of building the structure was included in next year’s national budget so that construction works could start next year.

 
Nkhuwa said when construction of the new State House is completed; the current one could be turned into a museum.

 
But Mulongoti in an interview said the current State House was very ideal for the purpose and was well maintained.

 

The only problem pushing these people is that they have visited so many state houses and want to begin to compare. Every state house is supposed to be a purpose and must be suited to the environment of a particular country, Mulongoti said.

 
“I don’t think the people of Zambia have got anything against that State House. In any case, that State House is always empty, because the occupant is always on the move. So we have got an empty State House because the occupants and his minders are always on the move.”

 
He said not too long ago when he was Minister of Works and Supply, he visited State House many times and would vouch that it was in good shape for its intended purpose.

“They are looking for a brand New State House for what? To invite people to come and eat? It’s an additional cost for us; we want it as it is. When the need arises, the people of Zambia will demand for it, not the occupants; that’s the last thing to do,” said Mulongoti.

 

“There is nothing wrong with our State House, it has all the facilities. I have gone around it when I was Minister of Works and Supply, so I know it; nobody can tell me anything that it’s inadequate for its purpose.”

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