By PRISCA LUMINGU-BANDA in Livingstone
PRESIDENT Edgar Lungu has demanded for transparency and merit in the recruitment of workers at the Mosi-oa-Tunya Livingstone Resort being constructed at a cost of K1.7 billion.
The resort was initiated by the National Pension Scheme Authority (NAPSA).
President Lungu said priority should be given to Livingstone residents who were in need of employment.
Mr Lungu said this during the ground-breaking ceremony of the Mosi-oa-Tunya Livingstone Resort in Livingstone yesterday.
“I would like to urge the developer to ensure transparency and merit in the recruitment of construction workers. Priority should be given to Livingstone residents who are in need of employment,” Mr Lungu said.
President Lungu said he had already received complaints and had since directed Labour Minister, Joyce Simukoko, to verify the reports that local residents were being left out in the recruitment process.
He also said Government believed in the diversification of the economy and the utilisation of the abundant natural resources that the country was endowed with.
He said NAPSA had shown commitment by investing in three modern hotels namely, Stay Easy, Hilton Garden Inn in Lusaka and the Garden Court Hotel at the Edgar Chagwa Lungu Business Park in Kitwe.
President Lungu said the Mosi-oa-Tunya Livingstone Resort investment project could not have come at a better time than now when the country was experiencing the negative impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.
“I am glad that this project will help resuscitate the economy in Livingstone through job creation. Livingstone will also profit from revenue as a result of procurement of goods and services during construction.
“The investment will create business and job opportunities for the residents of Livingstone,” Mr Lungu said.
And NAPSA Director-General, Yollard Kachinda, said the decision to undertake the project was in line with the organisation’s investment guidelines to invest in commercial real estate among other asset classes.
Mr Kachinda said the investment was aimed at growing the fund for the benefit of the members and the nation at large.
“This asset will be owned by the Zambian workers and pensioners who are contributors and beneficiaries of the scheme,” he said.
Mr Kachinda said that NAPSA signed an agreement with MukubaProperty Development Company for design and build of the Mosi-oa-Tunya Livingstone Resort at a cost of US$97.3 million or K1.7 billion.