His Excellency the President of the Republic of Zambia Mr. Hakainde Hichilema called for the 1st Cabinet Meeting in the Year 2022, held on Tuesday, 8th February, to discuss legislative and other general policy issues.
The President emphasised that it is important for the New Dawn Administration to enhance the development of the country through implementation of appropriate policies that would improve the general living standards of the Zambian people.
The following are the issues deliberated upon by Cabinet today:
1. The Public Roads (Amendments) Bill, 2022.
Cabinet approved in principle to the introduction of a Bill in Parliament to amend the Public Roads Act, No. 12 of 2002 in order to include provisions that will provide protection of the property of the Road Development Agency. The amendment of the Act will further align the composition of the Road Development Agency Board to a standard number existing in Government Boards.
2. National Housing Authority (Amendment) Bill, 2022.
Cabinet also approved in principle to the introduction of a Bill in Parliament to amend the National Housing Authority Act, CAP 195 of 1971 in order to protect the National Housing Authority (NHA) property and also find ways through which the original setup of the institution could be brought back to the fore. Cabinet is of the view that the National Housing Authority is such an important institution where infrastructure development in terms of housing is concerned and, therefore, needed appropriate legislation to be put in place for it to positively contribute to the growth of the economy.
3. Construction of the New Luangwa Bridge across the Luangwa River.
Cabinet approved during the Meeting, the construction of the New Luangwa Bridge across the Luangwa River in Luangwa District of Lusaka Province in order to increase the traffic capacity in the Nacala Corridor to facilitate the distribution of goods and movement of passengers in the country and its neighbouring countries, and thereby contribute to the economic growth and industrial revitalisation of the country and its neighbouring countries.
Cabinet is aware that the existing Luangwa bridge has been in use for more than 50 years from the time it was constructed in 1968. Further, the maximum weight of vehicles that can currently pass through the bridge is limited to 55 tons while the maximum speed is limited to 30 km per hour. Currently, only a single Heavy Goods Vehicle is allowed to pass at any given moment. The existing bridge has, therefore, proved to be a bottleneck for traffic travelling on Great East road and hence the need for the Government to address this matter.
Cabinet further agreed that Zambia takes advantage of the substantial infrastructure development that has taken place in the Nacala Corridor including the rehabilitation of the port of Nacala in Mozambique and the road from Luangwa Bridge to the Port of Nacala.
In terms of the financing of the project, the total cost of constructing the bridge is estimated at US$ 75.5 million. Cabinet is encouraged that Government is expected to only contribute approximately US$7.5 Million as counterpart funding while funding from external sources is estimated to be US$67.95 Million coming from our all-weather friends, the Government of Japan through its Agency the Japanese International Cooperation Agency (JICA).
4. Establishment of the Zambian National Committee on the Prevention of Genocide, War Crimes, Crimes against Humanity and all forms of Discrimination.
In winding up debate on the First Cabinet Meeting, Cabinet approved the establishment of the Zambian National Committee on the Prevention of Genocide, War Crimes, Crimes against Humanity and all forms of Discrimination as required through Article 26 of the Protocol under the International Conference of the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR).
Currently, Zambia is one of the three (03) out of the twelve (12) countries of the International Conference of the Great Lakes Region that have not established National Committees. It is envisaged that through the establishment of the National Committee, the country would undertake adequate proactive measures to prevent Genocide, War Crimes, Crimes against Humanity and all forms of Discrimination in accordance with the Protocol and fulfil the obligations of the United Nations Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of Crime of Genocide.
Hon. Chushi Kasanda, MP
MINISTER OF INFORMATION AND MEDIA AND CHIEF GOVERNMENT SPOKESPERSON