By JOHN SAKALA
China Jiangxi Corporation (CJIC) has clarified that the Kitwe-Ndola dual carriageway is being funded by the Zambian Government.
This is contrary to some media reports suggesting that the project is financed by Chinese Government under a loan agreement.
CJIC Communitations nd Public Relations Manager Misheck Wangwe said the project is financed by the Zambian Government through the National Road Fund Agency (NRFA).
Mr Wangwe said that there is no loan agreement from the Chinese Government as suggested by some sections of the media.
He told *lThe Independent Observer in a statement that the project commenced on January 30, 2013 and it has taken more than five years to complete owing to additional works issued under numerous Variation Orders.
“The project also had a number of completion time extensions emanating from cash flow constraints. However, the main works of the road maintenance have been completed.
“We wish to advise the public and all stakeholders that the ongoing road maintenance works on the Ndola-Kitwe Dual Carriageway are being carried out in compliance to standard specifications applicable to Southern Africa Transport and Communications Commission (SATCC) and supervised by a professional supervision company,” he said.
The firm says between 2013 and April 2017, there was a serious cash flow constraints and as a mitigation measure, CJIC internally pumped in US $11 million to sustain the works.
“It should be noted that we have continued to attend to various maintenance activities arising from the normal wear and tear as the road has been in use throughout the Project period. Further, the amount of traffic on the Project road has increased during the Project period as the Fisenge Masangano link and the Mufulira Ndola link have deteriorated to such an extent that motorists are no longer using them; hence all traffic has been diverted to the Ndola-Kitwe link.
“Due to the booming economic activities arising from the increased mining operations in North-Western province and throughout the Copperbelt province, Kitwe-Ndola road is the only route that is used to ferry abnormal loads of equipment to the mines and thousands of tonnes of mineral products from the mines on a daily basis,” he said.
Mr Wangwe said China Jiangxi would continue to advise Government for the need to install weigh bridges between Ndola and Kitwe to prevent overloading on the road given that railway transport has significantly been abandoned and the level of activity between the two industrial cities is very high.