About US$200 million has so far been spent on construction of a new terminal at Kenneth Kaunda International Airport. Minister of Housing and Infrastructure Development Ronald Chitotela said US$360 million will be spent on the project, which is being financed through a loan from Exim Bank of China.
Mr Chitotela said this yesterday after touring construction works at the new terminal site. “The facility is still under construction and funds are still being released,” he said. Mr Chitotela assured Zambians that Government’s investment in the modernisation of Kenneth Kaunda International Airport has been fully secured.
He said it is unfortunate that some politicians and some media outlets are trying to frustrate President Edgar Lungu’s efforts by spreading falsehoods about the airport being taken over by the Chinese government. Mr Chitotela said the new terminal at Kenneth Kaunda International Airport is fully owned by Zambians and is being supervised by engineers from his ministry.
He said the facility cannot be taken over by China because this was not part of the loan agreement. “This is a concessional loan in nature and the interest rate is between one and two percent,” Mr Chitotela said. He said the loan has a three-year grace period and its repayment will start between 2021 and 2022. Mr Chitotela urged Ministry of Housing and Infrastructure Development Permanent Secretary Charles Mushota and engineers supervising works of the project to ensure that Zambians are given a quality airport.
“Once we prove that, then we can inspire confidence in the Zambian people,” he said. Mr Chitotela cautioned politicians against trying to plunge the country into chaos by fabricating damaging stories about infrastructure projects in the country. He said the media has a role of reporting responsibly by verifying information about Government projects before circulating the news.
“If money under infrastructure development was not being channelled to the right projects, we could not have been seeing the development we are enjoying now,” Mr Chitotela said. And Zambia Airports Corporation Limited civil engineering manager Philip Mubanga said construction of the new terminal at the airport is 85 percent complete.
Mr Mubanga said most of the construction works have been finished and what is remaining