A visibly furious Vice President Saulos Chilima on Monday deplored and took to task officials from Plem Construction company over what he called ‘poor and substandard works’ on the Chikwawa-Chapananga-Mwanza road.
Chilima, who is also Minister responsible for Economic Planning and Development and Public Reforms, visited the road project as part of his inspection tour of public projects aimed at appreciating the state of implementation and progress made against planned completion.
He said the status of Chikwawa-Chapananga-Mwanza road force people to call the leadership all sorts of names, saying he won’t allow that to happen just because someone has decided to do shoddy works.
“You want people to call us all sorts of names because of this substandard road that you are doing. You will have re-do and redesign that road,” said Chilima who later postiedon his social media page about the same incident.
“I have pressed on the Contractor, Plem Construction, to redesign the first 10 km that they have worked on so far as opposed to proceeding with the current poor design of the road. We would rather pay more and have a durable and quality road than continuing with what I have seen,” wrote the Vice President.
Chilima further said he shot down the contractor’s argument that the ‘poor’ design was because the road has less traffic.
“No. That’s a wrong mindset. It is like planning on the assumption that the people of this country will remain poor forever. So the Contractor must go back to the drawing board. We can’t continue with the road in its current poor design,” he said.
Commenting on the Nsanje – Marka road which he visited earlier, Chilima said he was impressed with progress with the Contractor comitting that the road will be completed by March, 2021.
Last week, Chilima has called on State institutions to ensure quality public infrastructure to minimise maintenance costs.
The Veep said government spends millions of taxpayers’ money in maintenance of public infrastructure, saying the funds can be invested in other developments if structures are built with durable materials that can withstand natural calamities.