The Minister of Finance and Public Enterprise, Iipumbu Shiimi, says the government is looking into reviving abandoned national projects in the Zambezi Region. Shiimi visited projects that have been left incomplete in the region.
Shiimi visited the Zambezi Waterfront and Tourism Park at Katima Mulilo, which has remained a white elephant for almost 15 years. Another is the Kalimbeza Rice Project, which stopped production about three years ago due to a lack of funding to repair and replace broken machinery. The construction of the Kongola Crocodile Farm Project remained incomplete just before the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic.
"All of them are key, we will have to see how we are going to prioritize because we may not be able to fix all the problems in one day, but obviously we have to find solutions because we couldn't want to have land that was availed of by the traditional authority but there is no use for that land."
The projects were meant to create jobs and boost the local economy.
"We go back more empowered with information, and we will speak to our colleagues in cabinet because this needs the role of government to see how we are going to address some of these concerns going forward."
While in the region, Shiimi also visited the four traditional authorities, who pleaded for economic activities, interventions, and improved services.
"The khutas have also raised a concern around things such as rural electrification, some areas need to get connected to the grid so that it can also unlock economic activities."
Shiimi mentioned that the Ministries of Finance and Mines and Energy were in talks to allocate more funding to fast-track rural electrification, which will be taken into consideration in the planning of the 2024 national budget.