Government Terminates Contract of China Geo on Neno Road
People of Neno district have to wait a little longer to enjoy a tarmac road as government has terminated the contract of China Geo Engineering Company which was constructing the 20 kilometer Neno road at the request of the contractor.
Briefing stakeholders on Tuesday on the progress of the road, Board Chairperson of Road Authority (RA) Maltilda Matabwa said RA has terminated the contract as requested by the contractor as he was doing nothing on the ground.
“The contractor was doing nothing on the ground as he just mounted his equipment on the site and government was wasting money paying the consultant, yet nothing was being done on the ground,” Matabwa said.
She said the contractor was asking for price adjustment of the road yet his contract was a fixed one.
“His fellow contractors who were given similar projects in other districts have completed their work but him nothing has been done on road construction and this road project was supposed to be completed by January 2023,” she said.
Matabwa said as of now, government is in the process of identifying another contractor to do the works.
Matabwa then assured the people of Neno that the issue of the road will be treated as a special case in order to speed up the processes.
She however assured communities in Neno that RA will be doing periodical maintenances on the road so that people should be traveling without difficulties.
Neno Civil Society Organizations Network Chairperson Samson Njolomole faulted the Roads Authority for not setting targets to the contractor for the years he has been on site.
“The contractor has been on site for three years and if RA was doing monitoring they could have noted the challenges way back and made a decision then and not now,” he said.
He said Neno people have suffered the blow in this decision as they will have to wait longer as government processes takes a long time to be completed and as the rainy season is approaching people will sing the same old story.
Traditional Authority Mlauli described the situation as sad saying the people of Neno have been deprived of a good road network for a long time.
Among other issues, the contractor was demanding price adjustment from 2020 and extension of his contract which government declined but was also failing to sub contract 30 percent of his work to a local film as is required by law.