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FIRE ROADS ENGINEERS…and conduct an audit on roads, Musenge urges Milupi

NATIONAL Democratic Congress secretary general Mwenya Musenge has suggested to government to fire all roads engineers at infrastructure ministry and to conduct an audit on roads over which billions of kwacha has been lost.

Musenge has since commended President Hakainde Hichilema for raising the bar of national governance to a very high level.

Commenting on Minister of Infrastructure, Housing and Urban Development Charles Milupi’s statement that engineers were robbing Zambians by certifying substandard roads, Musenge said this was very true.

He said engineers in Zambia have not been patriotic to the country.

Musenge said Zambia has ended up losing billions of kwacha because of the selfish interest of engineers.

“One of the major roads I can talk about is the Pedicle Road (connecting Copperbelt and Luapula via the DRC). It is a total disaster. A wastage of national resources. Bridges are not completed,” he said. “Actually the Minister of Infrastructure should go a step further and say all those involved in such should be taken to task. It’s better to remain with no roads engineers at infrastructure than to have such a crop of individuals who have cost the nation in road construction.”

Musenge said the cost of roads construction had been exaggerated and “this must be corrected”.

“If possible, the Minister of Infrastructure, Mr Milupi should consider bringing in foreign engineers to come and do audits, verify and come up with clear, true value of road construction,” he said.

Musenge said as it is, the cost of roads was unacceptably high.

He advised the ministry to find ways of constructing roads cheaply.

“That’s the essence of engineers. Those that have gone to school and they have graduated as engineers should work extremely hard to find cheaper means, ways of doing our road networks. That’s what adds value to you as an engineer,” Musenge said. “That’s what makes you proud as an engineer. You don’t take advantage of being in those positions to create false costings for your personal benefit.”

Musenge said having worked with Milupi previously in parliament, he knew how vicious and tough he was and that his ministry would tick.

He encouraged Milupi, if possible, to “clear all the roads engineers, and employ a new team”.

Musenge said he was aware of some contractors who were friends with some officials of the previous government who received payments in advance and never carried out works.

“All this must be followed. They should account. Look at the Mufulira–Ndola road, what has happened to it? Certain contractors who were given that contract were paid but nothing has been done,” Musenge charged. “Look at the Luanshya–Masangano road. That road is very critical but look at its state! We know certain amounts were paid…to the contractors. The previous president ba Edgar Lungu actually launched the construction of that road. He again launched the construction of the Mufulira-Ndola road.”

He also talked about a contractor on the road connecting Mokambo border and Mufulira town over which some money was released but that nothing had happened.

Meanwhile, Musenge commended The Mast for not shifting goalposts in covering issues pertinent to the nation.

“Initially we were thinking the way you were coming out against the previous government that probably you had changed your mind but here you are coming out on important issues, offering checks and balances which is very critical for the Fourth Estate,” said Musenge.

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