GOVERNMENT has engaged a contractor to renovate the Choma District administration block so that the permanent secretary and minister in Southern Province can start operating from the new provincial capital within the next three months.
Southern Province Permanent Secretary Chileshe Mulenga said a contractor was renovating Choma District Administration block so that he and Provincial Minister Josephine Limata could move to Choma by next month.
He was speaking in Choma yesterday during a two-day Provincial Development Coordinating Committee (PDCC) meeting.
Dr Mulenga said the construction of the provincial administration block would be undertaken by the Ministry of Transport, Works, Supply and Communication next year.
The new headquarters would be constructed on land which was previously used as an airstrip.
"I am happy to report that we now have a contractor at the Choma District administration office making renovations. Within the next three to four months, my office and the office of the minister should start operating here," he said.
In his first address to Parliament last year, President Michael Sata said the Government would enhance the status of the city of Livingstone as a tourist capital by relocating the provincial capital for the Southern Province to Choma.
In the 2012 Budget, the Government allocated K15 billion for the construction of infrastructure for the provincial capital and about K3.7 billion was disbursed.
Dr Mulenga said the provincial administration would continue supervising the construction of infrastructure for the new capital project to ensure that works begin on time.
He said Livingstone should maintain the standards that had been set already while Choma should begin to operate as a true provincial capital.
"As a capital of the province, Choma must be a trend-setter in terms of development and I don't see that at the moment.
" Choma, for God's sake, is the provincial capital for Southern Province and the province is either third largest economy or very close to that, meaning we should be able to compete for resources like Lusaka and Copperbelt provinces," he said.
Dr Mulenga also called for effective implementation of Government projects in 2013 especially as Livingstone prepares to co-host the United Nations World Tourism Organisation general assembly.
"To ensure that all projects for next year are implemented on time, we will start the tendering process in the first week of January," he said.