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Contractor leaves Blantyre road site

Road construction project

Einstein Construction Company, which was awarded a contract to expand the road around Kamuzu University of Health Sciences (Kuhes) in Blantyre, has demobilised.

When we visited the project site Tuesday, we found the contractor moving plants, machinery and other materials from the site.

Blantyre City Council spokesperson Deborah Luka said she needed more time before she could comment on the issue.

However, The Daily Times understands that the contract has been terminated because of financing anomalies.

Details indicate that the project was initially grossly undervalued such that the work could not be completed even with an additional increment of funds of up to 46 percent.

A letter from Consulting Engineer Pamodzi Consulting to Blantyre City Council Chief Executive Officer, dated March 2 2022, recommended that the contract be terminated.

“As you might be aware, Einstein Construction has completed Asphalt Works equivalent to K38, 244, 612.19 VAT [Value Added Tax] inclusive. This means that the contract sum [which] amounts to [K]365, 729, 157. 57 which includes 46 percent addendum has been exhausted.

“Therefore, due to restrictions by procurement laws, no more funds can be allocated under the same contract since an addendum cannot go beyond 50 percent of the contract sum. Hence we would like to advise the employer to close the current contract. The remaining works could be repackaged for further tender action,” the letter reads.

Thokozani Paipi, a minibus driver who operates between Ndirande and Chilobwe, denounced the project delay, saying it inconvenienced his business.

“We could use K4,000 worth of fuel in a day but when the road was closed here we were using K6, 000 worth of fuel. We also used to have long queues,” he said.

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