Tuesday, August 07, 2007
By Bob Sianjalika
GOVERNMENT has charged Sable Contractors for poor road works and is claiming damages over the failure to complete the Mporokoso-Senga Hill road (D20) in Northern Province. Works and Supply Minister, Kapembwa Simbao, who is inspecting roads in the province, said he was not happy with the work done and the pace at which the 80-kilometre stretch construction was being carried out.
Mr Simbao, who could not specify the amount in damage, also warned that the Government would not hesitate to terminate the contracts for those failing to do the work according to specifications and complete it within the specified period.
He openly said that he was not happy with Sable’s work on the road that was far from being completed.
The minister was mostly disappointed because the firm’s management had earlier told him that construction of the road had been completed and could not understand why Sable was failing to finish the road which was supposed to have been finished last April.
He said the road was of economic importance and would act as a short cut to Nakonde as people would not pass through Kasama but go direct to Nakonde.
“We don’t want to reach the extent of canceling the project because doing so will be more expensive. Therefore, we want Sable to be honest and live up to its words,” Mr Simbao said.
Mr Simbao, who was touring the road together with regional road engineer, Daniel Kawana, also challenged the local Roads Departments to take keen interest in ensuring that the road was completed on time.
“If you are not careful, this project will reach in the rainy season. In our view, you are still remaining with a lot of work and I hope you will keep your promise,” the visibly unhappy minister told the contractor’s site supervisor, Alam Manfuz.
In reply, Mr Manfuz told the minister that the contractor had remained with only three kilometres of bush clearing and once they finished, they would be able to speed up their work.
Mr Manfuz acknowledged the delay in the completion of the road but assured that more equipment would be brought on the site to finish the work.
Meanwhile, Mr Simbao directed regional road engineers to regularly inspect the roads and bridges in the province and make appropriate recommendation for repair works to be carried out.