Mzuzu roads project stalls
The Mzuzu City Council continues to race against time to implement the K1.4 billion roads project as works are expected to delay further due to persistent rainfall the city is receiving for 11 consecutive days now.
Mzuzu City Mayor William Mkandawire raised the concern when he gave an update on progress of the project to Vice President Saulos Chilima on Tuesday when the Veep inspected areas affected by the heavy rains falling in the city which have left 7,028 individuals homeless.
According to Mkandawire the persistent rainfall has also worsened the condition of some roads on the project by digging up big gullies hence the need for more resources for repair and rehabilitation.
“There have been contradicting reports on how we are faring as a council in implementing the mega roads’ project, but I must assure government that we are on track if it were not for the bad weather the contractor could already be on site by now,” said Mkandawire.
“We admit there has been some kind of delay on our part in rolling out the works but it’s because we wanted to follow all the right procedures and we are glad to report that we finally settled for Plem Construction who are now in their mobilisation period,” he added.
In November last year it was revealed that the council had already blown over K13 million of the project money before commencement of the project, a development which led to tension between councillors and the secretariat with the former accusing the latter of extravagance.
Later in January, a full council meeting ended pre-maturely following disagreements among the 15 councillors in the city over which roads to be given priority thus suspending the project at just two kilometres out of the earmarked 10 kilometres.
The development prompted Finance Minister Goodall Gondwe to issue a stern warning to council authorities last month against politicising the project and then gave them three weeks to get to the ground or else risk forfeiting the remaining chunk of funding from treasury as the 2015/16 fiscal year winds up.
“This council is run in a rather mediocre manner which some of us distaste so much that we will always ask for answers and question decisions by authorities because we want the council to operate in a more transparent and accountable manner,” said councillor Yona Mkandawire of Masasa Ward when asked if he is satisfied with the current status of the project.
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