Friday, May 24, 2024

Government to scrutinize the contract system


Government says it will soon review the current contract system to help curb shoddy works by contractors.

Works and Supply Minister Kapembwa Simbao says a number of contractors have taken advantage of the current contracting system which he described as weak.

Mr. Simbao told ZANIS in Lusaka today that the trend of shoddy contract works on various infrastructures is not only being witnessed among Zambian contractors but has also spread to foreign contractors.

He explained that one of weaknesses that contractors are taking advantage of is the liability period which is given to them upon completion of their works.

Mr. Simbao added that the period which is currently 12 months allows the contractor to repair and polish up any damages to the infrastructure before it can be officially handed over to government.

He said there is need to reduce the liability period once the system is reviewed as the long liability period enables poor contractors to have enough room to repair the poorly built infrastructure.

Mr. Simbao said unlike some contractors in Zambia that spend the whole liability period repairing parts of damaged infrastructure, European contractors would not usually have any repairs to do excerpt to improve upon the works.

Meanwhile the works and supply minister has disclosed that the Chirundu one-stop border facility at Chirundu border post is this year between April and May expected to be commissioned by President Mwanawasa.

Mr. Simbao explained that the facility could not be commissioned in November last year as scheduled due to heavy rains that interrupted the works at the site.

It is expected that once in full operation the one stop border facility will help expedite the clearance of passengers and the estimated 500 trucks that are marooned at the border post daily.

The ultra modern multi facility will also house Zambia National Commercial Bank, Immigration Department, Zambia Revenue Authority and clearing and forwarding companies among others.


  1. The Works Minister should not only talk but be seen to act and do so quickly. The Govt must put in place a formidable inspectorate of these public works. We can not afford to provide contracts just for the sake of impowering local contractors. They must show for it and must prove beyond reasonable doubt that they could deliver. In case of roads, I will always refer to the good works done to the Kapiri-Serenje road. Please for once let us have sincerity in these public works.

  2. Its the enforcing of the conditions of contract that we are not serious with.our engineers need to fully enforce this especially Buildings Dept & RDA.The problem is you cant enforce after the contractor has oiled your hands.The defects liability period has nothing to do with shoddy work,afterall they are penalties in the contract document which can be slapped on the contractor during the time contractor is executing works.

  3. To be honest,i think simbao is one of most hardworkin guys in govt.changin the law wil not hold any water if the implementation is work must be concentrated around this point.

  4. Why has it taken Simbao this long? It is not only the contract terms but the awarding of contracts and supervision of works that needs jacking up.I understand contractors can only be supervised by the authority which awards the contract (Lusaka), no wonder there is shoddy work all over the country.Simbao could be a problem not part of the solution.

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