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PAC chides RDA after touring substandard roadsBy Mirriam Chabala on 28 May 2017
The parliamentary Public Accounts Committee (PAC) has directed the Road Development Agency (RDA) to stop the wastage of road funds by making sure that contractors and engineering consultants perform up to acceptable standards.
The latest Auditor General’s report has cited RDA for poor contract management which resulted into over procurement of projects, poor works, incurring of interests and delays in engaging consultants among other weaknesses.
PAC acting Chairperson Cornelius Mweetwa, acting Auditor General Ron Mwamba, RDA officials, and members of the parliamentary select committee and government officials visited several roads which were highlighted in the Auditors report.
In a statement after the site visits, Head of Public Relations in the office of the Auditor General Ellen Chikale said Mweetwa warned RDA to ensure quality roads are being constructed for Zambians.
“The PAC committee yesterday inspected the 91km of D145 Road from Great East Road at T004 at Laungwa Bridge (Feira). Acting Committee chairperson who is also Choma Member of Parliament Mr Cornelius Mweetwa, observed that the interest of the committee was to get a product that would serve the people of Zambia for a long time,” Chikale said.
“Mr Mweetwa said it was unacceptable for a road to fall within two years of its construction as was the case in the Luangwa road. He said Zambians deserved good quality roads and called on RDA to have a mechanism that detects failures on the road even before they get out of hand so that costs can be minimised.”
Meanwhile, Mwambwa feared that government was spending unnecessary funds on locally purchased construction material purported to be imported.
“Acting Auditor General Mr Ron Mwambwa said the tests his Office conducted on the roads during the audits were done in the presence of RDA and the contractor and the results were agreed upon by all parties. However, Mr Mwambwa was concerned that from the road inspection carried out, government may be paying for both the sub base and base as imported materials when in fact only the sub base was imported,” stated Chikale.
About Mirriam Chabala
Mirriam Chabala is a Zambian journalist who covers current affairs and writes in-depth feature articles on social issues.
Email: mirriam [at] diggers [dot] news
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