A K1 billion bribe has been paid to a top government official through foreign accounts in neighbouring countries in the continued squabbles that have characterised the construction of a swimming pool to be used during the SADC Games.
The payment, an inducement to award the tender to a named company has seen the cost of the project rise from the estimated K8 billion to K16 billion with the named company demanding an advance payment of K8 billion before work can start.
Sources confirmed that there were no tender procedures in the awarding of the construction of the pool to the named company as the government official single sourced the firm to undertake the project.
Early this year minister of sports Chishimba Kambwili admitted that he was aware of the corrupt practices in the way the tender to construct the pool was being handled.
Kambwili had promised to get to root of the matter and ensure that corrupt officials were identified and dealt with. A series of meetings have been lined up to table the programme on renovations and construction of structures which will be used for the games.
The sources confirmed that the construction costs have increased because the construction company said it would employ more labour force to work round the clock.
“There is too much corruption in this case. The cost of constructing the pool has increased because there are many officials who are asking for side kicks and already a top government official has been paid K1 billion,” the source said.
The pool was originally to be constructed at the National Sports Development Centre (NASDEC) at a projected K13 billion but some government officials demanded that it be constructed at the National Youth Development Centre (OYDC) at a reduced cost of K8 billion.
“We do not understand how the cost has risen to K16 billion. A lot of people are illegally benefitting from the project and it is not clear when the construction will start and time is running out,” he said
He said the ministry of sports has no capacity to meet the cost and the increase in cost has alarmed the ministry of finance which is keeping silent over the matter.
The source said several officials were scrambling to be part of the project because they were aware that money was exchanging hands adding “it is shocking to see the number of officials fighting to get on board and be part of the team handling the construction of the pool.”