JIMMY CHIBUYE, Choma
DEPUTY Minister of Works and Supply Mutaba Mwali is happy with the works, quality and seriousness of contractors building various Government projects in three new districts in Southern Province.
Dr Mwali said the seriousness and good quality of works by contractors in Southern Province gives hope that the buildings will be completed in the first quarter of next year.
The minister who was accompanied by building engineers from his ministry, said this when he wrapped up a tour of new districts in Southern and Western provinces.
He visited Chikankata, Zimba and Kazungula districts in Southern Province, and Mulobezi and Mwandi in Western Province.
â€œThere is hope in Kazunguala and the entire Southern Province in the sense that all the works are advanced. The only problem we have which is everywhere is that most of these contractors have had their contract time expired.
â€œOverall, I am happy with quality, works and seriousness of the contractors in Southern Province, although looking at what we found in August indicates they have slowed down a bit, but it is not worrying,â€ he said.
Dr Mwali said there will be need for the contractors to apply for the extension of contractual time so that they could complete the works.
The deputy minister said delays have been caused partly by external factors from both the contractors and the Ministry of Works and Supplyâ€™s side.
On termination of contracts in Western Province, Dr Mwali noted that most of the local contractors have either abandoned the works or are not active on site, reasons which warrant termination ofÂ contracts.
Dr Mwali further says non-performing contractors in Western Province will have their tenders terminated because they are frustrating Governmentâ€™s decentralisation policy.
And last week, Western Province permanent secretary Mwangala Liomba said 12 local contractors in the province were earmarked for termination due to non-performance and abandonment of projects in the newly created districts.
The tour in Mulobezi revealed that Zambica Trading Limited, building a K2 million post office has allegedly abandoned the project, while Kanani Agencies, constructing a civic centre and two high-cost houses valued at a cost of K6.1 millionÂ has not made significant progress for two months.
Dr Mwali also discovered that the construction of the K6-million district administration block and 10 medium cost houses have stalled at substructure level.
The deputy minister was however, happy with the progress made in Mwandi district and he encouraged contractors to quicken their pace.
JIMMY CHIBUYE, Choma