Government unhappy with greedy foreign contractors unwilling to offer Zambians jobs

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Special Assistant to the President for Project Implementations and Monitoring Andrew Chellah (l) with RDA member during the site visitation of the ongoing rehabilitation of Lumumba Road in Lusaka
Special Assistant to the President for Project Implementations and Monitoring Andrew Chellah (l) with RDA member during the site visitation of the ongoing rehabilitation of Lumumba Road in Lusaka

GOVERNMENT is unhappy that some foreign firms awarded major infrastructure contracts seem to unwilling to offer local firms no more than bit parts such as construction of drainage.

Special Assistant to the President for Project, Implementation and Monitoring Andrew Chellah said on Monday foreign contractors were expected to award at least 20 per cent of their contracts to locals.

Mr Chellah said he was disappointed that where there was a level of compliance to the requirement, it amounted to such basic works as building drainages or other elementary constructions attached to the projects.

He said this was frustrating Government’s initiative to empower locals with jobs and the skills they could gain from being involved in such huge projects and appealed to the Road Development Agency (RDA) to look into the matter.

Mr Chellah was speaking on a tour of the on-going construction of the K13 million district hospital in Vubwi, Eastern Province where he expressed satisfaction with the quality and pace of the work being done by Chinese Construction company, Zam-Chin.

Mr Chellah said he was optimistic the hospital would be operational in the next four months.

“I am very, very happy with the way Zam-Chin is constructing the hospital and I think it can be completed as soon as possible so that by June this year, the hospital becomes operational,” he said.

He was accompanied on the visit by Chief Analyst Policy Implementation and Monitoring Joseph Mwape Mukupa, Eastern Province RDA Regional Engineer Thomas Zimba and Ng’andu Consulting Resident Engineer, Alfred Banda.

He said Government was committed to completing all projects on time as demonstrated by President Edgar Lungu’s decision to set up a ministerial task force to oversee various on-going works across Zambia.

He said projects were being funded and that in six months’ time, work at nearly all those that had stalled would resume.

He said he was aware that the construction of the Chipata-Vubwi-Chadiza road by China Jiangxi was behind the schedule with only 25 percent of the first part done the Chinese contractor.

“This project started in 2013 and it was supposed to be completed in 2015 by the contractor but the contractor has been unable to carry on due to lack of funds. The ministerial task force will ensure that such projects are completed because we are behind the schedule,” Mr Chellah said.

Mr Chellah called upon the contractor working on the township roads in Vubwi to move on site by March 15th this year.

Apart from touring the Chipata-Vubwi road, he also inspected district administration, post office, a civic centre among other projects.

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34 COMMENTS

    • Hahahah,what a stup!d statement, all contractors work for money, all business people are greedy,, ask ‘ businessman’ Edgar lungu

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    • Being unhappy is one thing – What are you going to do about it?

      They are not breaking the law are they?

      I hold a PhD

      Thanks

      BB2014,2016

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    • As foreigners in diaspora, we are despised. Even at home we locals are despised by foreign companies. This is what happens when a president is in the pocket of Chinese. 2021 is too far.

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    • If they break the law you terminate the contract and make a show of them … you can just be watching them do this with impunity.

      Over the last 10 years, over $100 Billion passed through Zambia and the smart people of the Zambian Enterprise did not benefit much.

      Compare that same period with $500 Billion going through Angola and the government there demanding that 50% of all governments contracts had to have local content.

      See how many new millionaires Angola has produced compared to Zambia ~ numbers don’t lie!!! We need to do better.

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    • You’re the government. You’re supposed to negotiate and sometimes dictate the terms of the contracts you make with foreign companies. If you’re incapable of making effective negotiations, hire some professional negotiators to do it for you. Are there no smart Zambians who can negotiate with foreign companies? This is ridiculous. We don’t need your sadness, we don’t need your unhappiness….we want action! Why is there still fear of whites and other foreigners in Africa? This is your country and foreigners should respect that. Let them sign contracts at your terms. If they’re not willing to do so, let them go away. If they sign the contract and begin to breach it, terminate it and kick them out. That’s the only way you teach people to respect you. You all need to be fired…

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    • The problem with local contractors is inefficiency and the main contractors don’t like being delayed, period.

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  1. Its all talk but no ACTION,just to have your picture appear in news media.too much politiking pa zed.ANYWAY NO LEADERSHIP

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  2. Zambian people, please allow me to say that enough is enough. If these so called investors can’t offer jobs to Zambians then let us release them back where they came from.

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  3. You ministers stop wearing suits..Our country Zambia is not yet developed .You are very under performing ministers.

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  4. 30 Percent should be the minimal going forward. Please also contract countries like Japan, China na India ba chilamo mwe.

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    • Special Assistant to the President for Project is merely playing with your ignorance …most of loans for these contracts are through China EXIM Bank which come with conditions and as for contracts via GRZ its again the same people who give Chines overpriced contracts to get kickbacks!!

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  5. Absolute nonsense Chellah, do not tell us about the Govt’s “unhappiness”, tell us about what the Govt is doing to address the problem. Is the Govt incapable of making sure that this directive is adhered to? You fellows are useless and not doing anything and at the end of the day Govt looks bad because of your incompetence.

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  6. “I am very, very happy with the way Zam-Chin is constructing the hospital and I think it can be completed as soon as possible so that by June this year, the hospital becomes operational,” he said.

    When we tell you these are wasted years you think its a joke

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    • What do you mean 1mbeciles. Zam chin is zambia China and are ahead of schedule coupled with quality workmanship and all you say is wasted years. Give praise sometimes if you want to be relevant to the circles.

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  7. Zambia stinks corruption all the way from State House down the line, the ”NCEKELAKO” slogan has destroyed this country. Today, there is completely nothing to celebrate about if you are an ordinary Zambian. The President and his ministers are the key culprits in all these scandals and they have almost destroyed everything in this country including the Mines. The PF government of ba ”NCEKELAKO”. Just go to Chingola and Chililabombwe and interview the KCM Miners one and by one and hear the amazing story you shall get from there. The question is, what’s the way forward for this country ?

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  8. Award 29 % at your offices Ba infrastructure ministry.Don’t be disappointed because you have crested ministers yourselves by getting kick backs. Who doesn’t know

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  9. The Chinese are being given Big Contracts to the exclusion of Zambians. Why should Zambian contractors be at the mercy of the Chinese in their own country? Talk about empowerment, what has the Government done to build the capacity of the Zambian contractors to enable them handle major projects? This all talk and nothing else shows that we do not have people with foresight in Government. These contracts are empowering Chinese nationals at the expense of all Zambians with only a few believed to be getting kickbacks from these deals.

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  10. Notice the new bloggers that havent appeared b4 there are many. I believe that these pipo with post anti government comments and then govt will see who agrees with thdm and then target those pipo as dissidents. Check the newcomers there are plenty

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  11. From the look of things, The Government is “Begging” Chinese contractors to involve more locals. It is not “Compelling” them to do so. If they say No or simply ignore the Government, what happens? Does this Government have the muscle to crack the whip or fall on these Chinese like Tonne of bricks? I don’t think so.

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  12. Time has caught up with us.I remember during KK’s time he used to preach against the ‘nichekeleko’ syndrome and people kept a blind eye to that.He strongly warned us to stop the rot but non of the then people in the system would yield to that.
    Today that’s when we have come to release that we are so corrupt to the rot and it will take a miracle to get this rot out of the system.Even people that ignored KK’s fears are now blaming this Government.It all started way back and it will continue even in the next Government.Until we all seriously change our mind set against corruption,that’s the only way we gonna win this battle.

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  13. You are in authority dont get disappointed or surprised or whatever, do something about it! Dont comment on it like a blogger on LT, thats why you are paid that hefty salary+allowances. When are these people going to stop being commentators on national issues and start performing?? Ever talking no action. You must be 1nsane if you expect these big companies to act on their own!

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    • @FDD, have made my day, agvt official commenting as though he is blogging! kikikikiki

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  14. Now the eurobonds are finished is when they are waking up from the looting frenzy……

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  15. This sucks especially that we are not doing well in terms of fiscal policy strategy. Why can`t we deal with this issue onnce and for all. Empower Zambians and create tax cuts from them and tax heavily on these so called foreign contractors.

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  16. The government shouldn’t have allowed such a situation in the first place. They should compel companies to have 80% of contracts given, be to Zambians.

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  17. All the infrastructure projects being carried out in Zambia by Chinese companies just employee very few from locals be it employment or subcontractors. Be it ZESCO projects or RDA projects involving millions of dollars. That is the reality. But who cares.

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  18. Simple question you should ask yourself is how well do you pay the local contractors and why ask a foreign company to give your own people 20 %. You don’t have power to give local companies direct ? Please stop killing your own people. It’s like you expecting a foreigner to feed your own people
    What are you doing yourself as government?

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Comments are closed.