Kalomo contractor annoys government

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Kalomo contractor annoys government

Mazabuka, March 10, ZANIS ——- Government has expressed disappointment with Kalomo contractors over shoddy work done on rehabilitation of Konkola dam in Mazabuka district where KR1,400,000 spent.

Mines Energy and Water Development Permanent Secretary George Zulu said in an interview with ZANIS after touring the project yesterday that the KR 1400,000 spent on rehabilitating the dam had gone to waste as the work was poorly done.

Mr Zulu said he was very disappointed that such colossal amounts of money were going to waste by awarding contracts to contractors who could not do a good job but ended up displaying shoddy works.

He said that it was disappointing that the contractor was paid the whole amount of money for the project before he could finish the work without any certificate of completion issued.

The Permanent Secretary also bemoaned authorities that were charged with the responsibility of awarding the contract for not scrutinizing Kalomo contractors profile properly to determine whether the company was able to successfully carry out the project.

Mr Zulu said that authorities responsible for awarding contracts must ensure that companies awarded government contracts are strictly scrutinized by considering experience, capacity to do the project and qualifications as they look at their profile.

He further attributed shoddy works by the contractor on the dam to extreme negligence on the part of the supervisors in the department of Water affairs.

Mr Zulu said that such officers were retarding development which government was trying to take to the people in rural areas.

He warned that as controlling officer he will not hesitate to act in order to instil discipline in the officers once they are noticed to be frustrating government efforts.

Mr Zulu said that government must not be blamed for engaging Chinese contractors in carrying out certain projects because efforts to empower local Zambians with contracts of this nature were not working out properly.

He said that the shoddy work displayed by Kalomo contractors was tantamount to stealing people’s money and law must take its course.

Mr Zulu said that Konkola  dam was among the projects reported in the Auditor General’s report not to have been completed within the contract time frame of 12 weeks since the year 2011 when it was awarded to Kalomo contractors.

He explained that it had taken the contractor three years who later on wrote to indicate that he was unable to continue with the project after being paid in full and the work done was very poor.

Mr Zulu said that his office will study the contract in details to determine an appropriate action that should be taken against the contractor.

He further instructed that retention funds under this project be with held by not paying the contractor so that it may be used by Water affairs department to work on the dam and ensure that it is completed as soon as possible for the benefit of the local people in the area.

And Kalomo contractors Director Oliver Milimo admitted in an interview with ZANIS yesterday that his company could not complete the project within 12 weeks due to certain challenges experienced such as washing away of the spill way and sipping down of water.

Mr Milimo said that although work was not completed, 90 percent was done and only 10 percent was remaining to be done.

He said that the local community had already started utilizing the dam and appealed to government to consider giving his company more time to ensure that the project is completed instead of concluding that work done was not good.

Mr Milimo said that he appreciated government efforts to advise that the dam needed to be redesigned and good work must be done.

He agreed to have the retention part of the funds that were supposed to be paid to his company to be used in ensuring that the dam is worked on to expected standards by the department of water affairs.

The contractor indicated that he was not able to indicate whether work done on the dam was not good because he relied on his engineers who were well qualified to do so.

He added that it was unfortunate that the project was among those reported in the Auditors General’s report but his company was well known for doing good work on projects and completing them successfully.