29 November 2012

Zambia: Govt Spokesperson Defends Creation of New Districts

THE Government will embark on a robust infrastructure development in the newly created districts using the K200 billion allocated in the 2013 Budget, Chief Government spokesperson Kennedy Sakeni has said.

Mr Sakeni also said K498 billion had been provided in the 2013 Budget to empower local authorities, ahead of sector devolution under the decentralisation programme.

He said more than K200 billion had been set aside in the 2013 Budget for infrastructure development in the newly created districts.

"These and other measures are a confirmation that Government is serious about the creation of new districts as an important vehicle for taking development to the people.

"In line with the PF manifesto, the creation of the new districts will lead to robust infrastructure development as a result of increased transfer of resources from the Central Government to the districts," he said.

Mr Sakeni, who is also Information and Broadcasting Services Minister was reacting to Alliance for Democracy and Development (ADD) leader Charles Milupi, who alleged that the Government had not budgeted for the creation of districts.

He said the Government found it highly trivial for Mr Milupi to insinuate that the ongoing creation of new districts was impractical and only meant for political mileage.

Mr Sakeni said the creation of new districts would attract private sector investment and consequently expand job opportunities for the people countrywide.

"This Government is under no illusion. It appreciates the enormity of making the new districts operational, which, given the size of our economy, will require some time and resources to realise," he said.

He said the Government was on a serious mission to improve the lives of people and would, therefore, not engage in baseless and unproductive discourse with Mr Milupi.

He said the opposition wanted to divert Government from the implementation process as a way of justifying their unwarranted criticism.

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