Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Simbao urges contractors to stop engaging in corruption

Simbao urges contractors to stop engaging in corruption
By Mwila Chansa
Wednesday February 06, 2008 [03:00]

THERE is too much delinquency in the construction sector, National Council for Construction (NCC) board chairperson Dr Francis Ndilila has said. And works and supply minister Kapembwa Simbao has repeated that his ministry would blacklist any contractor doing shoddy works. Meanwhile, special assistant to the president for policy implementation and monitoring, Jack Kalala said the job done by some contractors was pure theft.

During a stakeholders’ meeting on the status of the Zambian construction industry and the proposed way forward held at Mulungushi International Conference Centre, Dr Ndilila said the construction industry had been in the headlines lately, mostly for wrong reasons.

“Despite our annual growth of 19 per cent in the last few years, this has been shadowed by the infamous headlines in the works we are doing, be it shoddy works on roads or bridges,” said Dr Ndilila.

He said that his analysis of the problems in the sector in the last two months made him to conclude that there was a lot of delinquency.

Dr Ndilila said the delinquency was sparked by people disregarding contract provisions.
And Simbao said the money the government gave to the constraction industry should be guarded jealously.

“That is why this will be a different year, we will be very strict. If we give you a contract and you fail to perform, we shall blacklist you and you will never get a contract, at least not under this government,” Simbao warned.

Simbao urged contractors to stop engaging in corruption because even a single K1,000 they gave as a bribe would land them in court.

“This is perceived as one of the most corrupt industries; if you are in that habit, stop it because it will land you into trouble,” Simbao said.

And Kalala described the performance of some contractors as pure theft.
“What I have observed is that there is no patriotism in what we do. I would understand if a foreigner is the one that did that but if a Zambian does it, it is unforgivable,” said Kalala.

He urged contractors to discharge their duties responsibly because the duty to develop Zambia was vested in Zambians.

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