9 January 2013

Zambia: Slow Livingstone Works Anger Minister

SOUTHERN Province Minister Josephine Limata has castigated the Livingstone City Council (LCC) for the slow pace at which it is implementing projects in preparation for the hosting of the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) general assembly in August this year.

Ms Limata was concerned that work was being carried out at a 'worrying' pace.

She has since given the council a two-month ultimatum to improve the pace and record tangible results.

The minister was speaking in Livingstone after she toured Town Centre Market and Villa Grounds where a two-storey modern market and an intercity bus terminus would be constructed.

Last year, the council received more than K6 billion (KR6 million) from the Government to construct ablution blocks, a modern market and an intercity bus terminus before the hosting of the UNWTO general assembly.

LCC also received funding for street lighting and unblocking of the drainage system, but contracts for most projects have not yet been awarded.

"Are you really going to complete the modern market and an intercity bus terminus before August this year because construction works have not even started?"

"We are behind time. I will come back here in March this year to check on progress. We should have at least a foundation by March and not this bare land I am seeing here," she said.

Ms Limata said the council would be held accountable if it did not show meaningful construction works by March 7, 2013.

"Let's follow tender procedures we don't want corruption. Corruption is killing us. Don't bring relatives, I won't spare you for that. Ensure that contractors you engage employ local people instead of outsourcing labour," Ms Limata said.

LCC director of engineering, Benny Chiyesu assured Ms Limata that most contractors for the UNWTO projects would be engaged within the next three weeks.

Mr Chiyesu said the council would ensure that the projects were completed before August this year.

"With modern technology, we are optimistic that we will execute the projects before August this year. We are still doing the architectural drawings and still sourcing for an architect.

"We are using an integrated approach where you get an architect and a contractor at the same time," she said.

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