CHIPANGALI member of parliament Vincent Mwale says the purchase of a water drilling rig is one of the biggest achievements for his constituency.
And Mwale says government has not yet started putting up infrastructure in Chipangali district because the Central Business District has not yet been identified.
In an interview after a tour of his constituency on Sunday, Mwale, who is also infrastructure development minister, said the rate at which clean and safe water was being provided to Chipangali was not satisfying.
“As member of parliament for Chipangali, I stand so proud today that my dream has come true; my dream of ensuring that we provide access to clean water in our constituency. Chipangali has a population of more than130,000 people and at the rate at which we are providing access to safe water is not really very satisfying because the country is big and government is looking at a lot of areas,” he said.
Mwale said the process of procuring the rig started in 2011.
“In 2011, we decided as a Constituency Development Fund Committee, I made a proposal to the CDF committee that we procure a rig for ourselves in Chipangali so that we can then provide a lot of water points. As you know ours was to make decision; procurement issues are handled by the council and when the threshold is higher than the council like in this case, the provincial administration handles. So they (Eastern Province administration) did that to implement our decision but unfortunately they picked a contractor who failed to supply the rig,” he said.
Mwale said the contractor gave an exchange rate in 2011 as the reason why he could not deliver.
“At the time the contractor was signing the contract we understand the dollar/kwacha rate was at about K6.25 in 2011 just after the PF government assumed power. And then at a time they were procuring the rig or when they were sourcing it, the dollar had gone above K10, so they were making a loss and so they failed to supply. So we claimed back the money, the provincial administration which was the procuring entity got back K700,000,” he said.
Mwale said the rig was to be purchased at K1.3 million adding that the whole amount could not be paid before the product was delivered.
“So the advance payment was K700,000 which was paid, now the supplier did not pay back that money at once, he paid over time. So we had to wait until the supplier managed to pay everything. After the supplier paid then we had to make a decision to now top up more money to buy a rig. We added more money to make it K2.2 million so that we can get a state of art equipment. We did that and again the council had to implement that but this time around they used the Ministry of Local Government. The Ministry of Local Government worked with the Ministry of Water to specify, advertise in the paper,” he said.
Mwale said 85 per cent of the K2.2 million was paid and the supplier agreed to deliver the equipment.
“Finally my desire to have a rig for Chipangali has been fulfilled, we have a rig that has been delivered in Chipata and the council is now registering and insuring it before we start using it. It is a
state of the art machine manufactured in the year 2019. My heart is so comforted that we have something that we have wanted and the people are going to have clean water. I have used a lot of my personal money, I have used money from cooperating partners, Muslim Association, Kuwait Aid, they assisted by drilling over 50 boreholes in Chipangali,” he said.
Mwale said some political opponents that do not have anything good to say were saying a lot of unresearched things over the matter.
And Mwale said the Central Business District for Chipangali has not yet be decided.
“We haven’t started putting up infrastructure following the declaration of Chipangali as a district because we haven’t decided on the CBD yet. Our traditional leaders are still consulting each other,
our people are consulting traditional leaders. Stakeholders have not yet come up with one place that would be the CBD, so we can’t proceed once this is not done. Ministry of Health is ready to put up a mini hospital, the administration block, those of us from the Ministry of Infrastructure, we are ready but we haven’t been given a CBD yet. So we are waiting and we know our chiefs will expedite the process,” he said.
Mwale also donated 100 pockets of cement to the Mnukwa community for the construction of a secondary school.