Road contracts lack transparency – SACCORD

Saturday,  December 8, 2012


SOUTHERN Africa Center for Constructive Resolutions of Dispute (SACCORD) has challenged the Patriotic Front (PF) government to explain to the nation the criteria used to award road construction tenders.

SACCORD Information Officer Obby Chibuluma told the Daily Nation that the awarding of road contracts in the country lacked transparency and accountability.

Mr. Chibuluma expressed sadness that the PF was seemingly bent on single sourcing tenders, adding that there was need for the ruling party to explain to the people of Zambia the modalities used on tenders such as the Mukambo-Chembe road and the 8000 link Zambia project in Chiyawa area.

“We want to urge the government to explain the criterion used to award contracts in the roads construction industry. We have seen some contracts being revoked and later given to other contractors without any reopening of tenders.

“Mukambo-Chembe road is a living example just like the Link Zambia project. We need to see transparency in these projects because they are huge and public funds are being spent. It is extremely important that the state show commitment and leadership in this sector,” he said.

He said it was disturbing that contractors have gone on sites without any tender being floated and advertised in newspapers and other medium of communication.

Mr. Chibuluma also expressed sadness and apprehension on the secrecy surrounding tenders and contracts awarded to foreign companies, saying there was no clear picture how much money was involved as a result of single sourcing.

“But also the secrecy surrounding these tenders is a recipe for corruption.

Zambians have been complaining about this kind of conduct by our leaders but it seems as if the PF has embraced this nature of conduct which they too condemned bitterly,” he said.

He said lack of political will in the manner the PF government was handling issues of governance and the fight against corruption should be a source of concern by all Zambians whose vision was to live in a corrupt free country. Mr. Chibiluma also questioned the PF government’s motive  for establishing and registering of Ilunda Chalo Investments Company in individual names instead of the party which was also a legal entity.

“A lot of stakeholders have expressed concern with the PF government especially the way they registered and established Ilunda Chalo in individual names instead of the party. PF is a legal entity and it is suspicious to see them register the party property in individual names and that is the corruption people are talking about and that should be stopped with immediate effect,” he said.

He wondered why the PF created a company after getting into power and transfere it into individual and private hands, adding that the people of Zambia’s major interest was to find out the nature of business Ilunda Chalo would be inmvolved in.

“We don’t want to see a situation where Ilunda Chalo takes over all government contracts at the expense of other companies. This is total corruption and should be stopped forth with,” he said.