News

DC summons contractor

CHARLES CHISALA, Chembe
CHEMBE district commissioner Simon Lwando has summoned the contractors building the civic centre, two VIP houses and a post office at the site of the new township to explain why their workers have abandoned the construction sites.
The government has awarded the contract for the construction of the civic centre and two VIP houses to Techtrim Limited, and the post office, which will also house a bank, to Dodos General Dealers.
Chembe is one of the four new districts in Luapula Province.
Mr Lwando was recently upset to find the sites deserted.
Two employees found at the sites for the civic centre and VIP houses explained that the workers had not been reporting for work for three days because they had not been paid salaries for three months.
At the construction site for the civic centre, Mr Lwando found the project at box level, while at the site for the VIP houses one unit was at window level.
The other unit is still at the foundation stage.
“Tell your boss I want him to report to my office on Monday without fail. By employing these villagers you have withdrawn them from their traditional sources of livelihood. Employment is now their only means of survival,” Mr Lwando said.
The story was the same at the site of the K1.9 million post office, where Mr Lwando took Dodos General Dealers general foreman James Musenge to task.
Mr Musenge admitted that the workers had not been working for three days because of delayed salaries, but promised to do some work before the end of the week.
“We were expected to complete this project by July, but we had some challenges. This week we will be doing the slab,” he said.
The structure was at box level with backfilling.
But Mr Lwando warned that he might be forced to recommend that the contract be cancelled and awarded to a more capable contractor if there would be no progress.
“You have not paid workers for three months and they have now stopped reporting for work. President Sata gave the people a district in response to their cries.
“We want this project to be completed on time. Government has already paid all the contractors here 20 percent upfront for full mobilisation, but you are failing to pay your workers and there is no work going on here,” he said.
Chembe became a district in 2012.

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