President Michael Sata is determined to force his way to ensure that his official retirement house is constructed just one year after coming into office. President Sata wants to build his house ahead of former presidents Levy Mwanawasa, Frederick Chiluba and Rupiah Banda.
Finance deputy minister Miles Sampa, who is Sata’s nephew said Sunday that the PF government was making steady progress on the construction of Sata’s house and hoped it would be completed soon.
While Sata’s house can wait until the government at least sorts out the fuel crisis in Chipata, mealie meal shortage on the Copperbelt, University Teaching Hospital water crisis in Lusaka, the incessant Zesco power blackouts countrywide, poultry and beverage shortage, the head of state is unconcerned about the problems facing his ordinary people.
Sampa, a lawmaker for Matero constituency, said government did not want a situation where Sata would start renting a house after leaving State House like the case with the former presidents is.
He said government was spending about K1 billion annually to rent houses for former presidents and their estates. Sampa noted that when Sata’s house is complete, it would be kept in the hands of government and that they would only hand it over after retiring from office.
Ideally, President Sata should have priotised the construction of houses in the order of presidency before he could focus on settling his own with four years remaining before this tenure of office expires.
So far, PF leaders have been saying that Sata will go for a second term of office which means if he wins, his house would have been constructed way ahead of retirement.
So far, it is only Dr Kenneth Kaunda whose house has been fully constructed while other former presidents and their estates have been consigned to renting from different landlords.
The construction of Mr Sata’s house started in April this year and it appears he is personally making follow-ups to monitor the construction progress at the land in New Kasama area just near State Lodge.
Other former presidents Chiluba, Mwanawasa and Banda have been allocated land for the construction of their official residences but there have been no activities on their lands. Chiluba and Banda’s plots are in Baobab area of Makeni while the Mwanawasa families were allocated land in Silverrest.