Minister of Home Affairs and Internal Security Uladi Mussa has faulted construction companies on labour recruitment modalities that have led to continued theft of materials meant for various projects in the country.
The remarks come at a time when most construction companies have expressed concern about the theft by some employees, Malawians in particular, at various project sites. The development they say affects project budget lines, standards and the final project outcome.
A Chinese contractor, who is constructing the national stadium in Lilongwe, complained about rampant theft of tools and resources, saying the situation is affecting their work.
The stadium project coordinator, Emily Shen told journalists that though the project site is guarded by eight security personnel from the Malawi Police Service (MPS), the contractor continues to lose valuable materials.
But reacting to the incidences that have not spared some of big construction companies among them, Mota-Engil which is handling the construction of Blantyre–Zomba Road and the $1 billion railway project passing through Southern Region districts of Chikhwawa, Neno and Mwanza, Mussa blamed some contractors for using cheap labour and lack of screening of people they employ.
“The calibre of the people they employ sometimes is questionable. Some companies even use cheap labour at the expense of their projects,” he said.
Mussa dismissed assertions that employees involve themselves in the act due to the low pay they get which in some cases is far from providing the much-needed support.
“There are two things in life that are never enough, money and time. Even as a minister, the money I get is not enough. I guarantee you that even if they were given ‘enough’ money, they would not be satisfied,” explained Mussa.
Mota-Engil is one of the companies which last year complained of losing large volumes of fuel and other project materials at their Kachaso-Nkaya Railway link project and at the construction of the Limbe–Zomba Road project site. The company also faced a similar situation when they were constructing the Nsanje World Inland Port.