Stardy construction, a company owned by Defence Permanent Secretary Stardy Mwale has swiftly moved back on site to finish the construction of a Maternity Annex at Kabushi Clinic in Ndola.
This was after area Member of Parliament Bowman Lusambo threatened to arrest and to terminate the contract awarded.
On Saturday, Acting Ndola District Health Director Dr Christopher Dube revealed to Journalists that the construction of the Maternity Annex at Kabushi Clinic which was supposed to take 18 months had dragged for over six years.
This prompted Mr Lusambo who toured the project to call for the arrest of the contractor and termination of the contract.
But Mwale on Sunday afternoon mobilized some youths from the area and engaged them to do some quick fixes to the building.
On Monday whilst on site, Mr Mwale took photos of the inside of the freshly painted building and declared that the Annex building was ready for hand over to the Ministry of Health.
Mr Mwale said in a phone in Interview on Hot FM Breakfast show this morning that the construction of the maternity annex has been completed awaiting commissioning by the Ministry of Health.He said Mr Mwale said following the weekend site visit, the project was at 95 percent complete.
He explained that what was remaining was only the connection of water, stating that the building is ready for handover to the Ministry of Health.
“We couldn’t install the Borehole Pump because of fear of vandalism. We have the pump at the Clinic inside, we will only install the tank when we are about to hand over.”
Mr Mwale refuted claims that he was paid the entire K1.6 million for the project saying he is still awaiting the payment to be completed.
He has explained that contrary to assertions by Kabushi Member of Parliament Bowman Lusambo, he received the initial 25% payment after which another payment was made and yet to receive the last payment.
Mr Mwale who is also Defence Permanent Secretary has since apologized to President Lungu, the First Family and Kabushi residents for the delays.
“I wish to say I am sorry to President Lungu for putting his name into disrepute. I apologize to the First Lady and the First Family for the embarrassment that this issue has brought. I also apologise to the people of Kabushi for delaying the project,” Mr Mwale said.
Asked on why the project suffered a six-year delay, Mr Mwale said he could not disclose the “technicalities” of the project that contributed to the delays.
“That I can’t tell you. The only thing I can tell you is that there were some technicalities that affected the project,” he said.
“Yes I was awarded the contract in 2013. The awarding of the contract followed tender procedures. Even if I was a Provincial Chairman for the PF, I was an ordinary citizen and I didn’t use any influence in getting the tender. Infact I was the lowest bidder and I got it.”
Further asked to comment on threats by Mr Lusambo that the contractor be arrested, Mr Mwale said he cannot say about the threats because Mr Lusambo is his big brother.
“Hon. Lusambo is my Boss; he is my Minister so I cannot say anything about what he said.”
“How do you arrest the contractor for having completed the project? Law enforcement agencies are free to come and arrest me if I have failed to implement,” Mr Mwale said.