Walking the talk

GOVERNMENT has shown it will not just talk, but walk the talk to ensure that developmental projects are done in a professional manner.
It has shown that it will not just accept what it is given, but will ensure that the final product is of acceptable standards.
The no-nonsense approach that Government is showing is also showing the doomsayers that when it comes to public resources, there won’t be any compromise.
We are glad that Government’s tough stance has resulted into a number of major road projects that have been done at great expense are being redone.
This is because the initial work was not satisfactory.
In today’s edition, Ministry of Housing and Infrastructure Permanent Secretary Charles Mushota has disclosed that a Chinese company, AVIC International, has been instructed to redo some of the roads that it worked on.
Mr Mushota said the government had identified some roads which were poorly done by AVIC International and needed to be re-done – at its expense.
That is the way it should be. Even in everyday life, people demand a refund or exchange for goods that are faulty from shops.
According to Mr Mushota, some works were prematurely done, therefore, the contractors were instructed to move back to the sites so that a good job can be done.
Mr Mushota said the contractor had been told to re-do the works in Great North Road, Lumumba Road and Katima Mulilo Road and many others.
‘…We inspected Katima Mulilo, Great North Road, Ngwerere, Lumumba Road and Mungwi Road, it as a result of that AVIC have gone back to work on those but even before those sections were identified AVIC did not perform to the expectations of the government,” explained Mr Mushota.
What is significant about this move is that it also vindicates Government against accusations of corruption in the manner it awards contracts.
For had there been corruption, Government would not have the moral or even legal right to ask AVIC International to redo the roads.
The country would have had to live with the shoddy work and made to spend more money redoing the roads long before their lifespan.
It is even more striking in that the company involved is Chinese-owned. Government has often been accused of being soft on Chinese companies because of “kickbacks.”
We wonder how the “Know-it-alls” in the country would interpret the government’s tough approach.
From our side, it shows that Government is being prudent in the manner it is managing public resources contrary to accusations of reckless spending.
It certainly won’t be business as usual. Contractors, local or international must realise that should they decide to do shoddy work by cutting corners to save money, they would pay dearly in the end.
When Government says it was in a hurry to develop the country, it must show by proof of work – quality.
On Friday, Government reported it had terminated a contract for Covic Company Limited working on the Luangwa District Hospital for failure to perform according to contractual obligations.
According to Minister of Housing and Infrastructure, Vincent Mwale, the Chinese firm was awarded a contract to construct phase three of the district hospital but it failed to complete the project.
Mr Mwale, who was briefing President Edgar Lungu in Luangwa said the government saw it fit to terminate the contract because the contractor had not shown seriousness.
Yes, when it comes to business, Government must not compromise for people expect a lot from those they have entrusted to look after the country’s purse strings.
Sluggish contractors must be shown the exit door.


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