THE Mazabuka-Kafue Road is a death trap, warns former Livingstone district commissioner Paul Sensele.
In an interview, Sensele said the PF government had failed to work on the Mazabuka-Kafue road and the Kazungula-Sesheke road which were very viable to Zambia’s foreign trade.
“I have just returned from Lusaka and I was shocked at the state of the Mazabuka-Kafue road. It is in a pathetic state and certainly a death trap. One wonders why the government is silent over several calls for it to attend to this road. Mazabuka area member of parliament Gary Nkombo recently complained about this road and he has not been answered as far as I am concerned. Equally, the Kazungula-Sesheke road is nothing to sing home about, it is a shame to Zambia,” he said. “My immediate conclusion is that these roads are in opposition controlled constituencies, and under the UPND which is a thorn in the PF leadership. So the best way they can frustrate Zambians resident in these areas is not to attend to the damaged roads. The PF is very, very different from the one [late president] Michael Sata left. Under President Edgar Lungu, it is highly selective of where they take development.”
Sensele indicated that despite the poor state of the mentioned roads, the PF through the RDA had gone ahead to collect funds through tollgates.
“There is one at Shimabala, they are building one between Livingstone and Zimba, this is a shame because Zambians are paying a lot of money for poor services…the roads contribute heavily to the nationals revenue collection because most companies who pay huge taxes use the Mazabuka-Kafue road to ferry coal from Maamba, and also sugar and molasses from Nakambala [Sugar Company]. The road also links Zambia to Southern African countries such as Zimbabwe, South Africa, Namibia and Botswana,” Sensele said.
He also accused Vice-President Inonge Wina of forsaking the people of Western Province who depended on the Sesheke-Livingstone road.
“She must be ashamed that she has forgotten her people all because they are UPND,” Sensele said.
He said if there was any tribal party, that party was PF given the selective developmental projects and the massive retirements by the President through the so-called ‘national interest’ reasons.
Sensele said a lot of people that have been retired under the PF government via national interest were either Tonga or from North-Western Province where the UPND had great influence.
“Apart from massive transfers and retirements we also have a lot of stalled developmental projects in Southern Province than any other province in Zambia. In Livingstone we have three projects namely the bus terminus, the stadium, and the market whose construction was commenced in 2012 but are yet to be completed,” said Sensele.
But featuring on ZNBC TV’s Sunday Interview programme, infrastructure minister Ronald Chitotela said he wished people talking the loudest about the eroded state of the Kafue-Mazabuka road could do the same on the Chinsali-Nakonde stretch.
“How I wish, and I told my brother Gary Nkombo…I told him [that] how I wish the loudest voices I’m hearing on Kafue-Mazabuka could have been the same loudest voices I would hear for Chinsali-Nakonde! If you ask me ‘which road was first in a deplorable state between the two,’ it is the Great North Road and we explained to the people,” said Chitotela. “I want to tell you that the economic activity and the road carnages from Nakonde to Chinsali are every day. This is not to downgrade the importance of [the road from] Kafue to Mazabuka. But I want to cite an example [about] how we arrive at doing things. I will begin with the Great North Road; every day on that road, there are road carnages. The Ministry of Works and Supply then [but] now Ministry of Housing and Infrastructure, through the Road Development Agency, wrote to Africa Development Bank to seek for financing of Chinsali up to Nakonde because the road is gone, there is no road to talk about. In 2015 and the people of Chinsali to Nakonde have been very patient…. The second busiest border facility in Zambia, even in terms of economic activities, is Nakonde. You cannot talk about the importance of Kafue-Mazabuka without talking about the importance of Nakonde-Chinsali.”