SOUTHERN Province minister Edify Hamukale has warned private contractors who have abandoned infrastructural project sites after being paid by government that they risk arrest and prosecution for theft of public resources.
Dr Hamukale says Government will not allow embezzlement of public resources by contractors as it is in a hurry to develop the country through provision of necessary public infrastructure to support its robust programme of socio-economic development.
The minister was speaking in Chikankata on Saturday when he toured the new district administration offices and housing project where he was informed by district council secretary Damson Mukwato that the contractor has abandoned the site for unknown reasons.
But Dr Hamukale said the provincial administration is aware that all contractors working on various projects has long released funds to all contractors to complete the projects and wondered why work has stalled at the new Chikankata district administration offices and housing project.
He said both the ministries of Finance as well as that of infrastructure and housing have confirmed release of funds to the contractors, warning that government stern action against constructors who are undermining its efforts to the develop the country.
“We want government officers to occupy these facilities by March 2017. There is no excuse for the contractor not to be on site to finish up the construction works. We shall deal ruthless with such contractors for stealing public resource,” he warned.
The minister was also disturbed to find that lack of drainage at the project site is threatening the newly built housing units whose foundations have been submerged in water.
Dr Hamukale who is accompanied by provincial permanent secretary Sibanze Simuchoba on tour of government projects said there is urgent need to provide proper drainage at the site as the newly constructed housing units risk collapsing owing to fast running water from the adjacent Munali hill that has formed streams across the project site.
“Government has spent a lot of money to put up these facilities which should not be allowed to collapse,” he said.
He directed the local authority and the district administration to urgently engage experts to find way of protecting the new housing infrastructure that is partially submerged in water.