Saturday, December 06, 2008

(DAILY MAIL) Government surrenders banned contractors to DPP

Government surrenders banned contractors to DPP

MINISTER of Works and Supply, Mike Mulongoti, says Government has handed over 21 blacklisted contractors to the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) to determine the merits of their cases.

Mr Mulongoti said this in Lusaka yesterday during a consultative meeting with the contractors. He said out of the 42 contractors that were banned, 21 had been cleared.

Mr Mulongoti said the contractors were notified that preliminary inquiries indicated that there was nothing worth taking to the DPP.

“There is another 21; the papers are with the DPP to determine whether there is merit in this,” he said.
Mr Mulongoti said instructions had been given to the directorate in the Ministry of Works and Supply to pursue the matter with the DPP.

Mr Mulongoti said the decision by Government to institute investigations for alleged unethical behaviour was not done in bad faith but was aimed at protecting and clearing the names of Government and the contractors.

He said this was vital to build confidence in the public who were the owners of the funds.

“When you are investigated, it does not imply guilt.

You must be ready to be investigated because you are paid public funds. I want to appeal to you that there must be no bitterness,” Mr Mulongoti told contractors.

He also said the Road Development Agency had already drafted the work plan for next year and that it was important that the names of the contractors were urgently cleared.

Mr Mulongoti advised the contractors not to be selfish but engage in partnerships with foreign companies with equipment and capacity so that they could build their capacities and complete projects in time.

He said Government wanted to construct nine major roads before the year 2011 but that the major hurdles were the contractors who delayed work due to lack of capacity.

“We want nine major roads by 2011. If you don’t see us, and we invite someone from Germany, do not be surprised,” Mr Mulongoti said.

He advised the contractors not to go straight to President Banda when they have a problem.

Mr Mulongoti also advised the contractors not to report their fellow contractors to the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) but instead engage in fair competition.

“If you go straight to the head of State, that is a vote of no-confidence in me, and I will tell him that you are a useless and corrupt contractor. So please work with us, our offices are open…we are here to solve problems,” Mr Mulongoti said.

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