President Edgar Lungu has implored engineers in the country to be professional in their line of duty as they will be accountable for their wrong actions.
President Lungu says the Engineering Institute of Zambia (EIZ) has not been proactive in inspecting the quality and durability of infrastructure being implemented in the country.
The Head of State made the remarks when he held a meeting with EIZ members and selected cabinet ministers at State House today.
The visibly upset president, wondered why engineers do haphazard works for government projects but implement cost effective and durable projects in the private sector.
“Some engineers when in government, they do haphazard works but the same people do extremely well when they are in the private sector, why? Do you inspect the works before certifying or not, look at the Zambia Building Society House in our central business district, it is a sorry sight yet your institution is aware and nothing is being done about that disaster in -waiting,” President Lungu charged.
President Lungu, who demanded an explanation on what punishments are imposed on erring members, has noted that the cost of projects in government is too high compared to the private sector yet the same engineers do the design works.
The Head of State has stated that it is disheartening that in certain instances the cost of constructing a gravel road is double than the actual cost.
During the meeting, President Lungu recalled that President Paul Kagame of Rwanda appreciates the skill and expertise being exhibited by Zambian engineers in his country yet they do not exhibit the same enthusiasm back home.
“My counterpart in Rwanda is appreciative of the works being implemented by you engineers. Due to the trust you have earned in that country the Road Development Agency (RDA) has been replicated in Rwanda and people in that country are happy with the jobs you do. Now, if perfect works are being done in that country by our own engineers, why don’t you do the same works here in your own country?” President Lungu wondered.
And Engineering Institute of Zambia (EIZ), Able Ng’andu, who has hailed government for the massive infrastructure development rolled out in the country, says the concerns that President Lungu raised are being addressed by his firm.
Mr Ng’andu has explained that five erring engineers will be disciplined before the end of this week and their licenses will be revoked by the ethics and integrity committee.
He has assured that going forward, his firm will be more proactive in order for government to get the value for its money through the certification of durable projects.
“Going forward, we will be proactive and erring members will be punished to send a signal to a few bad eggs in the profession. The issues you have raised like that of the Society House and Ndola-Luanshya road among others are embarrassing to our profession, and we will not allow such to continue going on and this week we are instilling discipline on five members,” assured Mr Ng’andu.
Meanwhile, Cabinet Ministers also took turns to express their concerns on the matter with minister of Local Government, Charles Banda who pointed out that EIZ needs to put more efforts because the massive infrastructure development that government has embarked on, deserves high quality works.
Further, Minister of Finance, Bwalya Ng’andu has warned that going forward all engineers who do substandard works will be imprisoned because the projects come at a huge cost to government.
And Minister of Presidential Affairs, Freedom Sikazwe has questioned the caliber of engineers that certify shoddy works, stating that his constituency has not been spared by the act of negligence, involving certification of schools and clinics that get dilapidated before being commissioned.