IN the continued crackdown meant to bring sanity to the road sector, the Government has terminated the K117 billion-contract awarded to Jianjsu Wjin Corporation for the construction of roads in Kabwe and Kapiri Mposhi districts.
This comes barely five days after the Government cancelled the K80-billion contract awarded to politician, Ben Mwila’s company, Wade Adams Piling, for the construction of part of the Mumbwa-Landless Corner Road in Central Province.
Road Development Agency (RDA) head of public relations, Loyce Saili, said in an interview in Lusaka yesterday that Jianjsu Wjin Corporation Limited was awarded the contract to construct urban roads in Kapiri Mposhi and Kabwe but failed to meet the terms of the contract.
Ms Saili said RDA had now instituted measures to recover the money from the Chinese company so that the tender could be given to another firm. This brings the total amount of money that RDA is trying to recover from the two companies to more than K130 billion.
Ms Saili said Jianjsu Wjin Corporation Limited was paid K17.5 billion as advance payment for the road projects that were commissioned in May and were expected to be completed this month. Nothing tangible has taken place on the ground.She said RDA had written to the bank that guaranteed the funds asking for a refund to ensure that the project did not suffer.
Ms Saili said Jianjsu Wjin was contracted to work on a 34-kilometre road network in the two towns but deserted the project and that the work was below satisfactory levels.
She also said the contract provided that the Chinese firm should have made available a performance bond within 28 days after the contract was done but failed to do so.
“This amounts to a fundamental breach of the contract. So as RDA, we had no choice but to terminate the contract. We are in the process of trying to procure another contractor to improve roads in Kabwe and Kapiri Mposhi,” Ms Saili said.
She said RDA had re-aligned its procedures following high levels of irresponsibility exhibited by some contractors. She said RDA was compiling performance records of all contractors and those that would show a poor record would be blacklisted.
Ms Saili said RDA did not want to deal with “makeshift” contractors because it wanted roads to add value to the economy.
“We will be firm in our monitoring and supervision of all the contracts. This will involve sending reminders at every stage where we think work is not being done accordingly,” Ms Saili said.
The company was running as a joint venture with a Zambian consultant.The letter of termination was written on September 28, 2011 asking the firm to surrender the project back to RDA for deserting and failing to meet the terms in the contract.
Apart from Jianjsu Wjin Corporation, RDA terminated a road construction project valued at about K80 billion with a performance bond of K8 billion for a company owned Mr Mwila.
Mr Mwila is president of National Democratic Focus (NDF) and contested the Nchelenge parliamentary seat on the MMD ticket during the September 20 general elections.
[Times of Zambia]