Neno Road to Delay Further

New Asumi bridge under construction New Asumi bridge under construction - pic by Neno Road Advocacy

The minister of transport and public works Jacob Hara says the Tsangano, Neno, Mwanza road construction project is delaying to take shape because "the contractor seriously underquoted" and a remedy to this requires a price adjustment subject to approval by the Public Procurement and Disposal of Assents Authority.

He disclosed this on Tuesday, in parliament when Neno North constituency member of parliament Thoko Tembo wanted to know what is delaying the road since 2019 when the contract with China Geo company was signed for the K6 billion road.

Tembo told the minister that the people of Neno are receiving different answers from different government departments on what is delaying the road, citing issues of forex and devaluation of the Malawi currency.

"We have an advocacy group in Neno which has gone to every public office in town to ask for the road and they get mixed answers, so honourable minister address us on what is happening," asked Tembo.

The Neno North legislator also wondered as to why the ministry is failing to negotiate with the contractor since 2019 when a contract was signed.

But the minister, Hara, said that plans are underway to bring the contractor to a discussion on price adjustment as his ministry has a limitation on price adjustment which is 15-18 percent and anything beyond that, goes through PPDA.

He said that "the contractor is willing to discuss with us on new prices and soon the people of Neno has have suffered for a long time will be served with a good road".

Roads Authority public relations officer Portia Kajanga has not been committal to comment on whether the contractor, China Geo Engineering company has identified a local sub-contractor as per requirement by the government and paid the China Geo part payment of a section he has already worked on.

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