District heads urged to supervise district works effectively
Chipili, January 8, ZANIS ———- Local Government and Housing, Permanent Secretary Howard Sikwela has implored District Commissioners and Council Secretaries to effectively supervise the construction works in their districts and ensure that Zambians get value for money.
The Permanent Secretary was disappointment with the slow pace of construction works in Chipili district in Luapula province because there has not been any tangible progress from the time the contractor Ultimate Construction was given a housing construction project.
He said the Lusaka based contractor was not on site and was reportedly not listening to any advice from the Council in the area.
Reverend Sikwela has since ordered the Council Secretary to demand for a site meeting with the contractor so that he could tell them why he has not been serious with the works.
He said the Council Secretaries were the eyes of Central government in their respective districts and they should not allow anyone working in their districts to underrate their authority because if the quality of works were poor, it would be the people in their districts to lose out on the good programmes and projects that government was bringing in their districts.
He also counselled Council Secretaries to ensure that they quickly report any contractor who was delaying government’s pace in delivering to the people on government promises.
The Permanent Secretary was also disappointed that the Contractor was coming from Lusaka and only the Director under his office knew where the contractor was coming from in Lusaka and his allegiance was with the Director and the Provincial Water Engineer in Mansa.
Reverend Sikwela wondered why contractors to do only ten medium cost houses should come from Lusaka when even the local contractors in the province could do the works.
He said it was important to review the approach in the future so that small contracts like the construction of only ten houses could be given to local contractors which would even make supervision of their movements easy.
He added that he would not take kindly when he comes back in two months time to find that not even one house has been done to window level because contractors must ensure that they deliver when government engages them to do the works aimed at improving the lives of the people and accelerate development in the new districts.
The Permanent Secretary also ordered his Director Department of Housing and Infrastructure Development (DHID) Micheck Lungu who was part of his entourage to ensure that he does not enjoy the comfort of sitting in his office in Lusaka when the contractors had deserted the construction sites in the new districts because government wanted to see results on its projects conforming to set timings and deadlines in order to accelerate development.
And Luapula Province Assistant Secretary Peter Chilambwe confirmed that the contractor needed some piece of advice because he has been negative and hoped that the directive from the Permanent Secretary would help because Chipili was remaining behind when other districts were making progress on the house construction project.
And Chipili Council Secretary Kaoli Chona complained that the Contractor, Ultimate Construction of Lusaka was not taking any advice from the Council as he clearly stated that it was only the Director DHID Misheck Lungu and the Provincial Water Engineer Cliford Chilenge who should supervise his works in Chipili.
And Director DHID Micheck Lungu said he had taken note of the Contractor’s issues in Chipili because the Contractor had not even mobilized yet.
But PS directed that as soon as the Contractor appears on site, the Council Secretary should demand for the meeting for the Contractor to explain the delays in the works because time was not on his side and he should be seen to be serious with the project because he has not even mobilized equipment and personnel yet.
He added that government’s interest was to see that the houses were done in record time without any excuses because results were a better language to the people than explanations.