National Planning and Development Minister Alexander Chiteme said it is devastating that a number of developmental projects in Western Province have failed to take off, years after they were launched.
Mr. Chiteme has since Wednesday afternoon been in Western Province to inspect a number of projects funded by the African Development Bank (AfDB) and the World Bank.
He said he has been left heartbroken with what he has found on the ground saying it is extremely disappointing.
“The works I have found on the ground have left me heartbroken and extremely disappointed. I am deeply ashamed at our work culture and inertia. The lack of ownership and dedication by our people working on these projects is appalling,” Mr. Chiteme said.
He said there is need for Zambians to change the mindset if the country is to develop.
“We first ought to change our mindsets and our attitude towards work. If we have to achieve the goals we have set out for ourselves as a country, business as usual won’t cut it,” he said.
He added, “The National Rural Water and Sanitation project funded by AfDB started in 2015, it is meant to increase access to clean water for our people. 1,231 boreholes are supposed to be sunk across the 16 districts of Western Province. Friends, to this day, not even a single borehole is operational. Devastating!”
“Friends, the government of His Excellency President Edgar Chagwa Lungu is committed to ensuring that our people have access to clean water, little wonder it sourced funds for this project, but those tasked with implementation are failing us. An overhaul is required!”
Mr. Chiteme said he has since instructed his Permanent Secretaries to ensure that a radical restructuring of the implementing units is done.
“We desperately need performance based contracts (PBC) in our civil service. This level of incompetence is sickening and frankly people a crime against our people. Friends, despite us not having PBCs, we have provisions that can allow us to weed out those that are enemies of progress. I have ordered my Permanent Secretaries to act decisively! People shouldn’t continue to draw salaries, yet fail to implement noncomplex things like boreholes,” he said.
Mr. Chiteme said it is also depressing that works on the Cashew Nut Infrastructure Development project have also not progressed as expected.
“Works had stalled and only recently did progress begin to happen, thanks to the recently hired Tanzanian Professor. Honestly friends, should it take a consultant from Tanzania to come and teach us how to grow trees?”
He added, “It’s not the work of our President or his Ministers to implement projects. But it’s increasingly becoming the norm that projects only move only if the Head of State or a Minister visits a project. Quite unfortunate,” he said.
Chiteme, why be surprised? This is the norm in PF. Why did you not ask the Provincial Minister, the PS ,the DCs what they are being paid for? Ubomba Mwibala…
Tell them off Zambians are too lazy to do anything, they want to be paid before doing any work. They complain about everything, including weather and giving lame excuses all the time. They would rather abandon work, be in the streets begging or patronising pubs with no money, looking for friends who can buy them a drink. It’s really shameful.
What a shame. Luapula is rolling…
This is what happens when everything is politicised. I know civil servants from the bantustans here in Lusaka who are always insulting the president and are jeorpadising GRZ work. Sad indeed….
They should be demoted or transferred to other provinces and districts.
My thoughts on such irresponsible people assigned to work on those projects is to demote them as they are not ready to do their work, this Is day light robbery if they can get paid for doing nothing what a shame !
Find new people to see the works completed , however punish those characters just give them a sack that will help others to learn a lesson.
On there bike to there village
Again abrogating the responsibility of government,it was a government lauded project for cashew nut growing, bifg fanfate how much the governmemt was doing, research before u give pipo trees, how are these piop going to survive whdn it takes at least 5 years before the yield will give income, in the meantime they opay for water, labour, fertilizer.
Government is saying we are putting in so many borejholes then the pipo are taxed.. propaganda sir. again deflecting responsibility from the governments lack of fulfilment of its pro poor policy . Government accept responsibilty for ineptittude please, truth is good in a christian nation
These projects have been funded and the minister has a right to ask why things are not moving. Sadly, no explanation was reported on by the media from those on the ground except that the Hon Minister did not accept them. What were these explanations that Hon Alex Chiteme did not accept? And what documents are in the project files that have been exchanged between Lusaka and Mongu? The answer could lie there. I understand that bore drilling in sandy terrain requires careful handling from those who know.
It does not need physical presence to know things are happening or not. A hunch tells me contracts in ‘some’ provinces are not well funded. Let us not be pretenders! They go out knowing very well and then give all sort of praises and play what they know too well – the blame game.
And the rate the done roads are getting bad is alarming. They will start blaming us for walking on them!
The biggest failure in any business or venture is the management.
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