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Monday, September 26, 2022

Three Indian firms win tenders to construct 650 health posts in Zambia

Headlines Three Indian firms win tenders to construct 650 health posts in Zambia

Health Minister Dr Joseph Kasonde congratulates Jaguar Overseas Limited Local Representative Matthew Mwandandila as General Manager Rd Lokhande (second left) and Ministry of Health Permanent Secretary Dr Peter Mwaba look on after the signing ceremony for construction of 650 health posts countrywide
Health Minister Dr Joseph Kasonde congratulates Jaguar Overseas Limited Local Representative Matthew Mwandandila as General Manager Rd Lokhande (second left) and Ministry of Health Permanent Secretary Dr Peter Mwaba look on after the signing ceremony for construction of 650 health posts countrywide

The Zambian Government has today awarded tenders to three Indian companies to construct the 650 rural health posts.

Minister of Health Joseph Kasonde revealed at the signing ceremony in Lusaka this morning that the project involves the construction of prefabricated structures.

Dr Kasonde said the three firms will also install essential medical equipment in the 650 health posts to be constructed country wide.

The tenders have been awarded to Jaguar Overseas to construct the health posts on the Copperbelt and Eastern Provinces at a total cost of 19,468,236 US dollars.

Another Indian company, Angelique Limited won the tender to construct rural health posts in North-Western, Northern, Muchinga and Luapula Provinces at a total cost of 18,100,000 US dollars.

Another firm called Megha Medical Centres will work on the health posts in Western, Southern and Lusaka Provinces at a cost of 18,387,160 United States dollars.

Early this year, the Zambian government acquired a credit line amounting to K 260 billion from EXIM Bank of India for the construction of 650 rural health posts across the country.


  1. that is what is called development not the mobile clinics RB was talking about for $50 million. it was waste of money and resources. Brave my president bravo my PF.

    • Where have you been? The same Mobile Hospitals have been praised to high heavens by PF Ministers and the Zambians that have been served.

    • Until I see a clinic, I will not believe it.
      These PF launched road projects, corner stone stadiums, even Universities, I haven’t seen anything constructed, am yet to see “official opening”.

    • Actually ba Kafupi you have exhibited the exact s.tupidity that Ba real Kafupi did and may his soul rest in peace. These clinics at the moment are in the direct command of HE to help the people at present for years to come before the dream clinics are built and train man power to manage them including. these clinics are keeping his faultering support as high as possible for as long as possible. Hopefully he can build these clinics in sub three years but economics don’t provide now and even on credit as elections get closer all those receiving promises of payments and contracts start to weigh their balls!!! This is when the die will be cast!!

    • From the story, I see that central province is not anywhere on the list.

      Why has it been left out? Does it have enough medical facilities or is it the usual LT reporting at play again?

    • Indian money back to India through Indian companies, AND WE REMAIN SERVICING THE “LOAN”, YUNGU TATAEEEE!!!!

    • @Wanu Ngwee, that was exactly my thoughts. By whatever name we want to call this, credit line or whatever, this is a loan that will have to be paid back to Zambia. Is it that the government was unable to get a loan that didn’t tie us to sourcing contractors from the donor country? Bottom line as stated by Wanu Ngwee is that the money ends up in India and a minuscule amount will benefit the Zambian economy and yet we will end up paying back the loan. Surely we have enough construction companies that can undertake these engineering works. Prefabricated structures are not complicated to cast so long as dies are made. Missed opportunity for job creation and extra money into the economy.

    • This whole thing smells.Firstly,Michael Sata borrows US$55million from India to assemble prefabricated health posts.Secondly,they award all the tenders for assembly of these prefabs to Indian Companies.Thirdly,the major part of all this loan remains in India and nothing in Zambia.Where is the logic.

      Surely,does the PF Government think that there are no Zambian companies who could have assembled these clinical tuntembas here?

  2. What is happening to our Zambian counterparts kanshi??? It saddens me that no Zambian Construction company is up there? I really hope a condition of the contract is for these Indian companies to partner with the local guys…please! Even if its to impart knowledge.

    • Partner with the locals to do what? These are prefabs you are talking about….very simple to erect.

    • May be this statement at the end of the article will answer your question: ‘Early this year, the Zambian government acquired a credit line amounting to K 260 billion from EXIM Bank of India for the construction of 650 rural health posts across the country.’

    • Its true, are there going to sub-contract part of the construction works? Ok at least sub-contract transportation of building materials. Ba PF twafwilisheniko.

    • It is very sad indeed. Most governments empower their citizens by giving them tenders. But alas in Zambia it is the complete opposite. Here in RSA 99% tenders are given to the local black people.
      Honestly speaking what is complicated about building simple health centres. One might argue that since the lender is an Indian bank they probably demanded that contactors should also be from India. But it is the Zambian people who will be paying back the loan. This points to poor negotiation skills by the government.
      Imagine how our economy can be uplifted if a Zambian company was given the tender to construct the health centres. There is really something wrong with our the PF .

    • The monies are from india so they insist on their own that’s why raising money through bonds is better

    • I have no problem of hiring foreign construction companies as long as zambian constructors do not refrain from doing shody work and stealing building materials eg.cement,steel works and other portable accessories.

      Again i have no problem with a foreign company being hired as long as they have start up capital unlike zambian breifcase contractors without even a wheelbarrow or corolla to do bussiness with.Giving Jobs to those who are capable is the way to go.

    • @Ndeke, exactly. The negotiating skills when signing these contracts leaves much to be desired. I don’t to blame PF entirely but its a trend that has been on-going through our governments. We need to change to empower the people. I would like Jay-Jay to be more positive about empowering Zedians, if Zambian companies were employed or empowered wouldnt it benefit Zambians??

    • @Zoona lol valid points raised above. Shoddy works have become associated with Zambian contractors but I still believe through a proper grading and accreditation process the right ZAMBIANS can do this type of work. Properly! Or at least a partnership. They provide the material we do the labour.

    • i would assume the same thing here, having local contructors involved too. This is just rubbish

    • I agree with you. Zambian Companies must participate. This money was a LOAN and not a grant. It will be paid back by Zambian Tax Payers that is you and I. Zambians must be empowered Please fi BANTHU IMWE.

    • The only work if any for Zambians will be digging and laying the concrete foundation, the prefab sections of the clinic everything from bottom to the roof will be made off site presumably in India.

  3. O.K Now people, the idea is let them call all the projects and start them but implementation requires brains. I believe God had a plan. Sometimes ideas come from small brains but its the big brains that will manage them. Zambia we’re on course. More plans please. Viva Zambia

  4. OK…well, i heard this pronouncement when PF came into power and at some point tried to assess the economic viability of such projects. On the other hand providing ease of access to health care by the country’s poor is always a welcome move and it tends to improve productivity in the long run. But can someone tell me the meaning of ‘prefabricated structures’….is it what i think? e.g the asbestos buildings of the school i went to?

    • Most probably the structures are made of Iron sheets. They will always be very hot in the dry season and very cold during our Southern Winter. This is a typical Zambian project. They are putting up tuntembas. Zambia is very well known for substandard structures.

    • Prefabricated structures can be explained as manufactured sections of buildings in a factory that can be easily transported and quickly assembled on a building site. These do not necessarily have to be made from asbestos. These days environmentally friendly building materials are used. The question is, “will these sections be made in India and shipped to Zambia?” As Zambia had the capacity to make these and we of course we have the materials needed. If this component is taken out of Zambia, then this confirms our concerns that basically most of this “credit facility” ends up in India.

    • Why not? We already have huge hospitals with nothing in them. It is not just a question of putting up third rate prefabricated structures from Kerala that will win you elections.

  5. Almost 50yrs on and we’re still relying on foreigners to build our health centers,run our mines and control our air travel mkt.We’re only good at salaula trade and loudmouths.

  6. this is good to hear but just hoping the project will start soon and not later so as to be campaigning strategy

  7. Thank you PF government…you are doing well to develop Zambia. God bless you my responsible government

    • Please don’t complain when they come with their own Indian engineers, technicians and “skilled” labourers as its their money they are lending us…we just want “development”.
      Wake up!!

  8. Not surprising since the money is from India. The same thing happens with loans we get from China tenders are awarded to Chinese firms.

    • Sinjonjo that’s true. This shouldn’t surprise us. Its not who to empower, but who does a quality work within the required period of time. I mean the money could have a clause that stipulates that the works be given to indian firms…..its not like govt wants to give the works to foreigners…..NO!!

  9. Throwing millions of dollars to foreign contractors to erect prefab structures at hideous inflated rates….this is what is in the small print of those loan agreements Chikwanda is busy signing everyday; “we will lend you XXX millions provided you use our contractors, labourers, suppliers and at our rates. You just sign the dotted line and payback on the agreed date.”
    When are we going to wake up from this docility Zambians.

    • Surely you have to borrow to build 4 simple walls and you are jumping up and down with excitement….its just sad. Remember they will come and build them for you at their rates with their people and suppliers, you happily sit down on your hands like a child and then pay back with interest when you grow up.
      Wake up people!!

  10. ”‘Early this year, the Zambian government acquired a credit line amounting to K 260 billion from EXIM Bank of India for the construction of 650 rural health posts across the country.’
    This is the new method of stealing, organize a credit line, get kickbacks, make Zambia pay back the credit plus interest.
    If we are paying back the credit why not borrow from the surplus we have ?

  11. There is need to consider local input in terms of contracts regardless of the source of funds. We should negotiate for at least 10 % to be awarded to local firms.

  12. If they award contracts to local companies funds will be paid locally as per SI55. So the PF cadres will not get there kick backs as funds will be traced. Therefore, they award to a foreign company that will externalize funds then the PF cadres get their share credited into the offshore accounts from wherever.

    • Kick backs from where? And to whom? Let’s be objective Exim Bank stands for Export and Import Bank. They mainly assist in financing the export of a country’s goods and services to international markets. Ex-Im Bank enables companies — large and small — to turn export opportunities into real sales that help to maintain and create that country’s jobs and contribute to a stronger national economy in this case the Indian economy.To put in numbers that’s 650 prefab structures that’s more money and work for Indian factories….they will just come to Zambia and erect them. Ex-Im Banks advertise the tenders in their own countries hence I don’t see how one would get kick backs off this.

    • A commission for arranging the loan. Remember PF has borrowed this money from an Indian financial institution. And the loan is tied to sourcing materials from India. It is stupid to even call it a tender. It was certainly not advertised in Zambia.

    • Ba JJ, I concur that it is a supplier line of credit to facilitate Indian exports to Zambia. But based on the article, GRZ decided the winning bids and not EXIM Bank of India. So, what can stop the Indian companies showing gratitude. You simply have to go back to “The People vs Kashiwa Bulaya” to understand how the funds would flow. Just ask yourself how many Indian companies would be interested in this transaction and what they need to do to be among the chosen few.

  13. While it is important to build more health centres it would be good to also improve the quality of infrastructure and service in the already existing facilities. Rushing to build so many centres, when existing ones are dogged with lack of qualified staff, shortage of medicines and equipment is like a walk in the wild.

    • part of the euro bond $20m if lm not mistaken has been set aside to improve uth,kitwe central and ndola central hospitals. Have faith in Michael he is a strategic planner

    • Ba @al, Zambia has more than three hospitals. @stick is talking about ALL existing facilities and not just the three “Mayadi” hospitals. What about Mongu General, Chipata General, Kasama General, Solwezi General, Mufumbwe Health Centre, etc?

  14. Let me get this straight !! Is the Zambian government insinuating that there are no eligible Zambian construction companies to do this job???

  15. Zambian contractors are a let down becouse they do not do quality jobs! They spend their money on buying cars and drinking beer instead of doing a better job! Most projects given to zambian contractors have been abundoned……! So, do not complain when the govn gives contracts to serious contractors!!! Change your mind set before you complain!!!!!

    • And just watch how the owners of these briefcase companies behave the moment they win a govt contract, they abandon their families for young UNZA students “gold diggers”! Never reinvest in their Tuntemda companies to get them ready for even bigger contracts later. No, no, no, its booze, maule, acquired foreign English accents, and useless foreign trips to God-knows-where! I am not sure why, but Zambians have a wired way of looking at life in only SHORT TERMS—it might be due to our short life span, but I am not sure! That’s Zambian Contractors for you—live it up while it lasts—tomorrow, fikaisova! And then they complain when they are overlooked for govt contracts. Go figure!!!!!!!!!!!

    • That is why I said “ELIGIBLE CONSTRUCTION COMPANIES”. Most of those contracts are usually awarded to contractors that lack Civil Engineering skills, simply because they are politically connected ! So, please do not paint all construction companies with the same brush ! Some of the Zambian Civil Engineering companies are multinational companies practicing in the SADC region. It is only the politically connected contractors (usually without experience & skills who get lucrative contracts in Zambia). Why do Zambians look down on each other??? Could it be inferiority complex??? Shame on you !!!

    • @Henry, you should spend some time on the ground, and you will find genuine hard working Zambian contractors who will shame you based on your comment above.

  16. People this kind of projects that sideline local participation should not be appreciated in whatever sense. This is not development for Zambia but India paid for by Zambians, no foreigner will develop Zambia for us apart from ourselves , 50 years after independence we should start looking at such critically. I for one am disappointed to have negotiators of this Caliber. God help us, Unfortunately God helps those who help themselves. Shall we be serious and start striving to help ourselves so that God can add on. Doc Kasonde is a let down shame on him, only Zambians celebrate when they help a foreigner make money.

    • Spot on….this cringe inducing docility and sleeping sickness has to end our people need to wake up, given that they are the ones who will eventually pay for this!!

  17. Henry Munene, talk of what you know ignorance is dangerous! Zambian contractors are going thru difficulties just to get paid or even get part payment from GRZ whilst these foregn companies are easily supported by their Embassies , Banks etc . Why do you think the Bank of China opened doors in Zambia, think of Indo Bank, you are the same pipo jumping all over pouring dirty on yourselves without understanding the issues at hand. there are Zambian Companies slowly breaking into other parts of Africa and middle east partnering on powerful projects. enjoy your sleep Munene and hopefully you will dream of a better and a fair Zambia where everyone will express and show their potential.

    • @Mwinezed, dont cheat yrself. These zambian contractors have the habit of abandoning projects immediately they given part payment. I have that xperience. They are a very big let down. Let HEMCS develop this country ba kapoli imwe, especially iwe namazai jay jay na golclaves. Just continue wiping old pipoz behind uku mwaikala banamazai

  18. The reason the smart Indians have opted for prefab construction is very simple – they will build these 650 structure sections in their Indian factories, use Indian medical equipment suppliers, use Indian shipping & logistics companies and since these are their patented prefab products use their own “specialist” labour to erect them which will equate to more jobs for them and as much money as possible staying in India…all they will do in Zambia is simply lay a foundation for their structures to sit on once they are shipped in from India duty free.
    This is why we need savvy negotiators in our gov’t representing our interests.


  20. Zambians can construct these building? They are prefab for god’s sack. We need foreigners to construct a prefab. When are we going to get it? Its a shame. I am sure in India they are wondering what are these people, they need someone from outside to put together a prefab, are they morons or something, can’t construct a prefab.

  21. A loan from India to be utilised by Indians.So in short we are saying we have imported labour from India on loan.Where is the forex? Does this show why the kwacha keep on depreciating against the major foregn currencies?Where are the Zambian companies?I thought it would have been better to partner with Zambian firms so that part of the cash and the skills remains in Zambia and there would be no need to hire the Indians for the same projects in future.

  22. We must understand how these loans work. Most developed countries have an Exim bank whose job is to secure jobs within their country by lending money at below market value to local companies engaged in export. So in this situation the Indian companies secured the deal with terms that they will finance. Then they just approach their Exim bank who lend the Zambian gov the money to buy from those companies. The US does that a lot.

    • True. This structure has been used in the past by Chinese firm ZTE to finance supply of equipment to Zamtel. Even construction of the new stadiums have been funded in the same way. Hence the involvement of Chinese construction firms. Notwithstanding, there is always room for “nichekeleko.”

  23. We do not need you clinics without medicine and medical staff in Barosteland, to hell, just remain in Muchinga

  24. Kickbacks from India to Swiss accounts cant be tracked by the useless JGIT. Loans not approved by parliament. No consultants have been engaged for this project yet so where are the figures for the contracts from? All government contacts have to be advertised and Tendered in a transparent manner by all that’s the law. We can challenge its our Tax money that will pay the loans any way. This is Capital Flight from our country . Regardless of the perceived benefits in the Health sector this is a not a well thought project. just like most of the decisions made by PF. Why prefabs? which standards ? prefabs need backup maintenance and suitability must tested over a period of time. whole thing stinks of corruption. 650 zambian Men and women need that money not those coolies.

  25. its very sad that our own contractors have been left out from such an empowerment activity when we are always calling the SMEs to be active on board. my request to Lusaka Times…….pliz publish the structure models and the how many health posts will be constructed in each district. this will promote citizen participation.

    • The recently revamped CEEC is working on empowerment transactions. You can contact them in Lusaka. They say people with good project ideas are not making themselves available.

    • It is sad indeed! But govt is NOT entirely to blame here. Local contractors have not helped their cause either. Just watch how the owners of these “briefcase” contract companies behave the moment they win a govt tender. They even abandon their families for young “UNZA STUDENTS.” They Never reinvest in their “Tuntemda” companies to get them ready for even bigger contracts later. No, no, no, its booze, maule, and useless foreign trips to God-knows-where!

      I am not sure why, but Zambians have a wired way of looking at life. They tend to see it only in SHORT TERMS—it might be due to our short life span, but I am not sure! That’s Zambian Contractors for you—live it up while it lasts—tomorrow, fikaisova!

      And then you complain and moan when you are overlooked for govt…

  26. FOREIGN THIS, FOREIGN THAT! Even constructing small buildings to be used as clinics must be awarded to foreigners simply because too many of such things are being done at once. Isn’t this the reason people fight to become politicians? To find easy ways to cheat their way to wealth? It is not too far away before Zambians start to regret this type of behaviour. A nation of only 13 million people shouldn’t allow itself to do things in such unplanned ways. Any honest Zambian should ask himself or herself where is each one of the Zambians generating so much cash that is being used on a daily basis to create employment and jobs for foreign nationals while most of the Zambian population can not find jobs?

  27. No corruption please like what we have seen at the Levy Mwanawasa stadiu contractor’s donation of vehicles that ended up in Ba Mwine’s relatives ownership

    • Levy Mwanawasa stadium was a gift from the Chinese government. Zambia never paid a Ngwee for that stadium now or in future. Stop reading government papers like the Post.

  28. The suit for PS Mwaba looks big yaba hear kalilila na AIDS .Dr Mwaba thinks he owns MoH na ci Dr Kaseba.Wait my friend,saw enlarged insenkete nati kabobwa ba Mwaba .Ubuule too much

  29. My only question is this, do we have Zambian construction companies? If so, where how and did they not get invited to the tender process? hahahahahaha.

    • Simple answer: we suck at any compex undertaking and don’t have a work ethic.Remember why zamtel,Zambia airways and ZR collapsed and even a simple undertaking like keeping Lsk clean is virtually unattainable?

  30. Ummmm I feel left out when i struggle for my own 10pin dollar for my equipment export ati we want to check your balance of payments through SI 32 & 55 but when money comes for implementation it goes back were it comes from without tender sad. 🙁

  31. Check this…..

    The financing credit line is from India (Eximbank)
    The tender has been awarded to 3 Indian companies
    The transaction bank is Indo Zambia bank

  32. Neo-colonialism? Enept nation fully of foreign prescriptions.
    It sounds every village to have an health post!
    Countrymen Zambia needs more than that. 50+ years after independence our approach to health must have been different.
    We must have a second tertiary & advanced referralhealth centre to charter nothern Zambia, probably constructed in Serenje.
    Then move or upgrade current provoncial general hospitals to central hospitals . General hospitals to move to district levels & then having the very health posts supporting the generals hospitals.
    Our ultimate objective at 2 national tertiary referral centers should have to curtail flying health tourists seeking services outside the country.
    In long run foreign exchange would have been save, plus our capacity to treat ourselves…

  33. As we have 10 provinces, the advanced tertiary referral center must have shown heads in each province. I’m very sick about the current scenario where Lusaka is Zambia & Zambia is Lusaka.

  34. Well interesting blog: how i only wished my fellow citizens do research widely before commenting. Does any of you who has commented know what and how these prefab clinics look like, gadgets and features look like, technology fitments look like? i had just been going through the designs and other cheats pros and cons. This project started in time of 3rd govt by the way.

  35. “Early this year, the Zambian government ACQUIRED A CREDIT LINE amounting to K 260 billion from EXIM Bank of India for the construction of 650 rural health posts across the country.”

    Remember that, people!!! This is being paid for WITH BORROWING not savings on subsidies.

    Hmmmm…. how long do you think it will be before some PF bloggers, and even “honourable” MPs and Ministers, will tell us the rural health posts are being paid for with savings on subsidies?

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