Defence Permanent Secretary Stardy Mwale, who owns Stardy Constructions, has apologised to Kabushi residents in Ndola District for the failure to finish the construction of a Maternity Annex at Kabushi Clinic on time, saying he blames the delay on his own stupidity.

The said construction project was awarded to Mwale’s company in 2013 when he served as PF Copperbelt Province Chairman, and was originally intended to be completed in three years’ time.

On Sunday, Kabushi PF member of parliament Bowman Lusambo called for the arrest of the local contractor, who had dragged the construction of a Maternity Annex at Kabushi Clinic for five years.

But speaking during the Hot FM breakfast show, Wednesday, Mwale said the project had since been completed and was ready for handover to the Ministry of Health.

“First and foremost, I want to apologize to the entire Zambians and this includes his Excellency, President Edgar Chagwa Lungu, for having dragged his name into disrupt for my stupidity! The said Annex premise is completed; I have just been waiting for Ministry of Health to come and do a handover. It is completed right now; I am on the ground and right now, I am speaking as Mwale Stardy and not as the Permanent Secretary of Defence. I am forced to speak because I am the owner of Stardy Contractors,” Mwale said.

“This clinic, as we are speaking now, I have sent you (radio host) video clips, two video clips, which are obtaining on the ground. The clinic is completed, all what remains there is to put a borehole pump. We could not do that because people were stealing whatever we were putting outside. So, we just kept a tank and a borehole pump inside the clinic; so that the day, we will be handing over, which we have been waiting for, that is when we would put a pump. Right now, even the tank is installed and the clinic is perfectly completed.”

He could not, however, reveal the technicalities that led to the delay in the construction of the facility.

“That is why I apologised to the Kabushi residents to say, ‘yes’, we took long, but on why we took long, that I will not get into detail. There where some technicalities, which led to the delayed completion. I am owing them (Kabushi residents) an apology from deep down my heart. Except I cannot go into some technicalities that led to delayed completion of that project,” he said.

“I have given an apology to his Excellency, the President, for one reason he has always wanted to take development to areas like that, especially areas where women could benefit from. The technicalities, like I said, I will not get into because I am a civil servant. But the bottom line is that the said maternity wing is completed.”

But Mwale later revealed that his company was not given the initial K1.6 million for the construction of the annex.

“And on the contract sum, the K1.6 million…you know, I am a controlling officer and the Ministry of Health is the controlling officer; there is no process in Zambia that has received the total sum of the contract. The government offices are opened for scrutiny; people can go there and see if at all if I was given K1.6 million cash for the whole project. I was not paid the whole K1.6 million! Anyone, even the entire panel there, I can source for fuel money, we can go to Ndola and check the books if at all I was given the K1.6 million,” disclosed Mwale.