RDA in road contract scandal

The transfer of the Road Development Agency (RDA) to State House has created even more corruption and nepotism.

Contractors have told the Nation that some senior officers in RDA are now reporting directly to state house shunning supervision by chief Executive Bernard Chiwala whose authority has now been seriously compromised.

They have warned that unless independent supervision is provided, Link Zambia 8000 will fail because money will go into people’s pockets.

According to documentation obtained by the Daily Nation numerous irregular and potentially corrupt variations and changes have been made to contracts thereby alarming contractors who are concerned by the failing supervision from RDA’s headquarters.

Three named directors, are reportedly fraternising senior members of the Patriotic Front many of whom have interests in road construction and apparently frequent state house where they give misleading information to the President and Chairman Willie Nsanda to the exclusion of their Chief Executive Chiwala.

According to documents among the many controversial projects cited as being irregular include the re-engineering of the Kapiri Mposhi weigh bridge which was recommended to Wah- Kong enterprises by the technical evaluation team but at procurement level this was allegedly maneuvered and changed to Sino-hydro.  Another case in point was the Chongwe roads which include Mono-Palabana, and Chongwe hospital to Katoba which were evaluated and recommended at the same time.

But surprisingly, according to contractors, the Chongwe-Katoba notification of award of tender was done at ‘supersonic of 2 days to Zhong-Mei.  Equally the awarding of the Mulilansolo road in Muchinga to China-Geo is also under question as reports suggest that it is likely to be assigned to Sino-Hydro even after the technical committee had recommended that the contract be awarded to China-Geo.

Contractors who spoke to the Nation expressed indignation that corruption and nepotism was taking place in spite of the fact that the anti-corruption commission, Transparency International of Zambia sit on all the Tender Committees.

Contractors have complained that the current RDA senior officials had no respect for the Ministry of Transport Works, Supply and Communications because they were always at State House where it is strongly believed they have been peddling lies to the President and the Willie Nsanda who is the RDA chairperson.

Early this week, the National Empowerment Forum, a Non Governmental Organisation (NGO) has revealed that the RDA in its current form is filthy with corruption nepotism and open bribery, the vices that the Patriotic Front government has been preaching against. National Empowerment Forum executive director Edgar Siakachoma has expressed sadness that the RDA whose office were moved to State House by President Sata with the hope of curbing corruption instead become the worst corrupt the institution. Mr Siakachoma has charged that there are some senior RDA officials who are working to deliberately sabotage President Michael Sata’s ambitious vision of the Link Zambia 8000, a programme that is expected to improve the road infrastructure across the country apart from creating the much needed employment.