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PF deserves credit for Kafue Gorge Lower Power Station – Mabumba

The Kafue Gorge Lower Hydro Power Project

Former Energy Minister David Mabumba has praised the Patriotic Front (PF) for their role in the commissioning of the Kafue Gorge Lower (KGL) Power Station. He also disputed President Hakainde Hichilema’s claim that the PF had damaged Zambia’s relationship with China during their tenure.

Speaking in an interview,Haimbe Mabumba credited both the UPND and PF for the completion of the KGL, but specifically highlighted the efforts of the previous government. He stated, “The PF are the ones who need to be commended, it’s the previous government. I’m a politician and I speak freely, they are the ones who executed that particular project.”

Mabumba went on to explain that it was the PF who initiated the KGL project and that it took the previous president, Edgar Lungu, to ensure its completion. He added that the UPND government should also be credited for the project’s successful commissioning.

Contrary to President Hichilema’s statements during the KGL commissioning ceremony, Mabumba claimed that Zambia’s relationship with China was in fact fantastic during the PF’s tenure. He argued that it was the previous government’s strategic partnership with China that enabled the country to secure funding for various development projects, including the KGL.

The KGL Power Station, which was commissioned on Friday, is expected to increase Zambia’s electricity generation capacity by 750 megawatts. The project, which was funded by China’s Export-Import Bank, cost approximately $2 billion and took over five years to complete.

During his speech at the commissioning ceremony, President Hichilema acknowledged the PF’s role in initiating the KGL project, but also criticized their handling of the project, which he claimed had damaged Zambia’s relationship with China. He called for a review of all projects funded by China to ensure that they are in the best interest of Zambia.

The commissioning of the KGL Power Station is seen as a significant achievement for the UPND government, which has been in power for less than six months. The project is expected to alleviate the country’s persistent power shortages and attract foreign investment to Zambia’s energy sector.

However, the controversy surrounding the project’s funding and execution highlights the challenges facing the new government as it seeks to balance the country’s development needs with its financial obligations. President Hichilema has promised to prioritize transparency and accountability in all government projects, including those funded by China, in order to avoid a repeat of past mistakes.