Lungu launches K1.5 bn ZNS housing project

Fri, 31 Mar 2017 12:32:13 +0000

 

By OSCAR MALIPENGA

 

THE construction of 2,000 housing units for Zambia National Service (ZNS) officers at a cost of K1.5 billion is a testimony of the Patriotic Front (PF) government’s fulfilment of its campaign promises, President Edgar Lungu has said.

And President Lungu said the PF government will not allow its gallant men and women in uniform to live in dilapidated and at times makeshift structures far below their noble status.

“We are walking the talk,” President Lungu said.

The Head State said his Government was determined to work hard to ensure not only decent housing was provided but also other basic requisites to allow dedicated men and women to effectively carry out their duties.

President Lungu, who is the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, said this yesterday at the launch of the construction of 2,000 housing units for ZNS staff at Chamba Valley.

“These housing units will be constructed in all service cantonments across the country over a period of three years.

“Shandong Dejian Group of Companies Zambia Limited will implement the housing project and it will be financed by the Development Bank of Zambia (DBZ) with the support of the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) at a total cost of K1.5 billion,” he said.

President Lungu said the PF government remained committed to ensuring that decent accommodation was provided for all defence and security wings in the country to make the lives of the officers and their families comfortable.

He said the need for uniformed personnel to live in designated areas could not be over-emphasized.

“It does not only make mobilization in times of emergency easy but it also enhances discipline and improves general administration.

“It is for this reason that my Government partnered with relevant stakeholders to embark on the construction of housing units due to the serious and urgent need for our defence and security personnel to be accommodated in designated and decent areas,” President Lungu said.

He said he was happy to note that efforts to provide decent accommodation to uniformed men and women was becoming a reality.

President Lungu said the housing project was special to Government because it was a joint venture between the Ministry of Defence and the Chinese construction company Shandong Deijian Group of Companies.

“The Zambian Government will initially own 25 percent of shares for a period of only 10 years before ZNS completely takes over the programme.

“During this period, technocrats from the Zambia National Service will be working side by side with their Chinese counterparts. This entails the smooth transfer of the technical know-how to the Zambian professionals before Government completely takes over the project,” he said.

President Lungu promised the Chinese firm of Government’s necessary support to ensure that the project was delivered in record time.

And Defence Minister Davies Chama said the construction of 2,000 housing units for ZNS would not only boost their morale but would also enhance efficiency in the conduct of their duties.

Meanwhile, ZNS Commandant Lieutenant General Nathan Mulenga warned officers that he would not hesitate to surcharge anybody who would be found negligent.

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