11 January 2013

Tanzania: Mwanri Wants Irrigation Engineer Taken to Task

Sumbawanga — THE Deputy Minister of State in the Prime Minister's Office (Regional Administration and Local Governments), Mr Aggrey Mwanri, has directed Rukwa regional authorities to take disciplinary action against an irrigation engineer for failure to deliver.

Mr Mwanri issued the directive to the Rukwa Regional Administrative Secretary (RAS), Mr Salum Chima, recently during a tour of the region.

The engineer from the office of the Sumbawanga District Agriculture Officer, Eng Daniel Kibona, is accused of negligence and failure to closely supervise the construction of an irrigation scheme at Katuka village in Kalambo district.

The scheme is reportedly built below standard and does not reflect value for money. The project is to cost 2bn/- upon its completion and has been funded by District Irrigation Development Fund (DIDF) under the District Agriculture Development Projects (DADPs).

Mr Mwanri also promised to officially write to the Zonal Irrigation Department directing them to discipline its senior officer, Eng Ruminishaeli Masuka for failure to supervise the project and allowing substandard materials to be used in the construction of the irrigation project.

The incident occurred on Tuesday when Mr Mwanri and his entourage visited the ongoing construction of the irrigation dam at Katuka village and discovered several anomalies in the project. A livid Mr Mwanri was even more disturbed after receiving reports that even the labourers at the site had only arrived a few hours before him after they were informed of his planned visit.

The deputy minister was also briefed that the contractor, PP Engineering & Consultants Ltd, has been rejecting requests to meet with authorities and instead sends representatives to attend official meetings. It was at that juncture that Mr Mwanri started inspecting the work in progress thoroughly and after being satisfied that the work was substandard he refused to lay a foundation stone on the site.

"I will not lay a foundation stone because by doing so I will be giving my blessings for substandard work to continue. The contractor has a lorry full of iron bars after giving false measurements. The work is substandard and behind schedule," he said.

He directed the acting Sumbawanga District Executive Director (DED), Ms Emiliana Fungo, to meet with the contractor and if possible terminate the contract and the latter should pay all costs for breach of contract.

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