19 November 2011

Zambia: New Works PS Directed to Inspect Road Projects

PRESIDENT Michael Sata has directed newly-appointed Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Works, Supply and Communication Francis Kamanga to closely monitor and inspect road projects countrywide in order to curb corruption.

Mr Sata said at State House in Lusaka yesterday that Zambians looked forward to a time when the high levels of corruption at the Road Development Agency (RDA) would be brought to an end.

He said when he swore-in Mr Kamanga and the permanent secretary in the ministry of Justice in charge of legal, Patricia Daka-Jere. "There is so much corruption in RDA, we are blaming the people we are giving contracts that they are doing shoddy works when it is us who are awarding those contracts.

"When we award the contracts there are specifications and you as PS don't leave it to RDA. It's your task to travel the whole country and inspect all these projects, including the project which your relative left, the Mfuwe Road. "We have never seen our road like our Kasama-Luwingu- Mansa Road which takes 12 years up to now you haven't gone anywhere and we do not know what people in Mporokoso have done where up to now they have never seen a tarred road," he said.

President Sata said he had inspected Kalabo-Mongu Road and that nothing was happening on the project. He said the new permanent secretary of Works should also supervise feeder road projects being undertaken by the ministry of Agriculture.

He also directed Mr Kamanga to immediately upgrade all rural aerodromes. "And among other things which you have to do almost immediately, I want all rural aerodromes upgraded to tar road standard.

"I want when I want to go to any rural areas, if I want to go to Chadiza I wan to fly there. I wanted to fly to Isoka then somebody comes to tell me you can't land at Isoka, why shouldn't I land in Isoka because the previous people preferred to go to England, America and everywhere else but not Zambia?" he said.

He said the ministry should utilise the services of the Zambia National Service (ZNS) because that was one of the reasons it was created. The president said alt the tarred roads in the country were left by the UNIP government and wondered where Zambia would be if the first government did not build them. Speaking later in an interview, Mr Kamanga said he would put solid measures to curb corruption at RDA.

He said he would ensure that contractors did not undertake shoddy works.

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