PRESIDENT Edgar Lungu has been conferred with the status of a free man of Mongu town in recognition of his commitment and determination to develop the district and Western Province as a whole.
And President Lungu has said the construction of the King Lewanika University in Mongu would start soon, reiterating that the Patriotic Front (PF) government was determined to develop economic infrastructure such as roads and universities which were the “true lubricants of economic expansion”.
Mongu mayor Bright Tombi said the municipality had decided to honour President Lungu because of the many developmental initiatives the district had received.
Mr Tombi praised President Lungu as a hero of Mongu and that the Head of State would remain with the status even after serving and completing his next term of office. President Lungu assured the people of Western Province that he would ensure that the King Lewanika University was constructed because a country without an educated and enlightened citizenry risked being condemned to perpetual poverty and under-development.
Speaking at the ground-breaking ceremony at the site where the King Lewanika University would be built in Namushakendi, President Lungu said it was the intention of Government to construct a university in every province so that the country could have an educated and skilled citizenry.
The tender to construct the K288.9 million university had been awarded to Datong Construction Limited and President Lungu was confident that the Chinese company would deliver the best and state-of-the-art engineering design of the university campus.
The King Lewanika University, once completed, would enrol 2,000 students in different academic and professional fields such as aquaculture, agriculture, veterinary and marine sciences.
“The King Lewanika University for which I am laying a foundation stone should be completed in the next two years because Government, on its part, has already made an advance payment towards the project. The university once completed would have the capacity to enrol about 2,000 students in different fields such as aquaculture, agriculture, veterinary and marine science. Government is determined to build a university in all the 10 provinces to improve infrastructure in the education sector,” he said.
The Head of State paid tribute to the Barotse Royal Establishment for offering land on which the King Lewanika University would be built, stating that even traditional land should be made available for developmental programmes.
And Education Minister Michael Kaingu asked the people of Western Province to thank President Lungu through the ballot for his dedication to develop the region.
Dr Kaingu said those who doubted the ability of President Lungu were disappointed that the Head of State had lived to the expectations of Zambians and his critics had now resorted to malice and slander in their campaigns.