Lungu warns shoddy contractors

PRESIDENT Edgar Lungu has warned Stefanutti Construction Zambia Limited against substandard works.

Stefanutti is working on the 108 kilometres lot 2 of the bottom road project from Chaboboma to Sinazongwe via Sinazeze in Southern Province.

The Head of State urged the contractor to up its game or risk losing the contract.

President Lungu said Government would not tolerate premature failure or substandard works on the project.

“This should also serve as a warning to all contractors working on infrastructure across the country to up their game or risk losing their contracts to serious contractors,” he said.

The Chaboboma via Sinazeze to Sinazongwe road is being constructed at a cost of K592 million within 24 months.

Speaking during the ground breaking ceremony for the upgrading of lot 2 of the bottom road project to bituminous standard, President Lungu said a good road network was key to unlocking Zambia’s potential in other sectors of the economy such as agriculture among others to spur economic growth.

“My Government’s commitment in driving the country’s infrastructure agenda should be evident in the results of the works,” he said.

President Lungu further directed RDA to carry out its full oversight role by providing effective supervision that would guarantee Zambians the quality that the citizens rightly deserved and aspired for.

The Head of State said he was happy that remarkable progress had so far been recorded on upgrading works on lot 1 of the same road covering 132 Kilometers.

He observed that lot 1 of the road which started in August 2011 had overall progress of 70 percent.

President Lungu said, in line with the Government policy of building capacity for local contractors, he urged the Ministry of Transport, Works, Supply and Communications and RDA to ensure that Zambian contractors with good track records were sub-contracted on the project.

“This is in line with the 20 percent sub-contracting policy. To the people of Chaboboma, Sinazeze and Sinazongwe, I wish to urge you to offer maximum support to the contractors as they carry out their work. Let us avoid engaging in any acts that may delay or frustrate this project that we have awaited for so long,” he said.

President Lungu said incidences of vandalism which had been recorded and reported in other parts of the country where roads had been constructed should be avoided as such acts merely served to reverse the gains that Government was making in improving road infrastructure.

President Lungu underscored the need for road safety by reducing on incidences of over-speeding which have been witnessed on newly constructed roads countrywide.

“The rise in the number of fatal accidents recorded on our roads in the recent past is undesirable and should be halted in order to save the lives of our road users, who are the critical human resource for national development,” he said.

Sinazongwe Member of Parliament Richwell Siamunene said the project was a clear testimony that Government was committed to taking development to all parts of the country.

Mr Siamunene, who is also Defense Minister, said the road would spur social and economic development in the district once it was upgraded.