District Officials in Monze have bemoaned the lack of seriousness from some contractors who were engaged to build some of the infrastructures for the Strengthening Climate Resilience In Kafue Sub-Basin (SCRIKA) projects in the district.
Commenting on some named construction companies whose works have remained incomplete despite government meeting their obligations, Monze District Commissioner Cyprian Hamayanga said it was disheartening to note that Zambian contractors had chosen to abuse their opportunities to the disadvantage of fellow Zambians.
He said Government was doing everything in it’s powers to try and alleviate poverty in communities through sustainable empowerment programs but that efforts were being sabotaged by fellow country men who choose to misuse funds when they are given contracts.
“As a government we are alive to the suffering of our people hence the reason for coming up with empowerment programs which would help the vulnerable in our society. I am very disappointed with some contractors whom we gave contracts to build certain things to help with the empowerment projects. We are talking about contractors who live among us and see the challenges of our people but choose to abuse funds when they ask for down payment towards the projects. It’s so sad and shame on them for not having a heart for fellow Zambians,” he said.
He explained that some contracts have been terminated due to poor workmanship and that some of the contractors will be reported to National Construction Council and Zambia Public Procurement Authority so that punitive action can be taken against the companies.
He further said legal action will be taken against one company which was contracted to drill boreholes so that it refunds all the money it received before abandoning the sites with less than 20% of works done while the other company was able to drill the same number of boreholes within 2 weeks.
He added that the same can be said about the poultry houses as we’re a contractor was able to complete the works while the colleague is still struggling two years down the line.
“We are not sitting idle and letting people walk away with such crimes. I say crime because this is tantamount to stealing, its tantamount to getting money by false pretenses. For some, the contracts have been terminated and the contractor will forfeite the remaining balance which we will use working with clubs to complete the works so that they start the economic activities they are supposed to embark on.
“We will report some individual companies to NCC and ZPPA so that these people are punished. We can’t continue to act like its business as usual when people are disadvantaging others. We need to change our mind set as Zambian contractors. When you are given a contract you need to work on the project first then enjoy your profits not the trend we have become accustomed to were you get the money and forget about delivering on your obligations,” said the DC who was visibly angry.
And Monze Town Council District Planning Officer Coniva Muntengwa said assessments on the infrastructure have indicated that apart from one contractor who did less than 20% of his contractual obligations most of the works can be completed by the locals.
He explained that local clubs have agreed to take up the remainder of works which needs minor expertise and that works are likely to be completed by March month-end so that they can be handed over to the clubs.
He said the council will provide the materials using the forfeited funds on whose contracts have been terminated while other contractors have been recalled to ensure that they complete and hand over the projects within the specified period adding that Extention Officers will be engaged to ensure that works are monitored.
Asked to name the culprits the DC said the names will be revealed once the legal process commences and termination process was completed.
SCRIKA empowerment projects will see clubs benefit in Village Chicken rearing, Goat rearing and Fish farming. The project has 8 Goat houses each with a borehole and a deep tank, 9 Poultry Houses equipped with incubators and a borehole, 2 fish ponds each with solar powered boreholes as well as 2 Cattle Deep tanks all in Bweengwa Constituency.