Housing and Infrastructure Development Permanent Secretary Charles Mushota says engineers from the Road Development Agency (RDA) are on the ground in Lusaka carrying out tests to ensure that works being done by AVIC international are of prescribed specifications.
Eng. Mushota says this follows the directive by Government through RDA that AVIC international Project Engineering Company should redo some works on roads in the capital city due to the deformations observed.
The Permanent Secretary says by visual looking; it is difficult to tell if the works have been done satisfactorily thus the tests being carried out by RDA.
Speaking in his office, Eng. Mushota said by mere looking on the road, one cannot tell whether the works will fail shortly after being worked on or not.
“By visual looking, the works may look very good but as engineers we have to use certain engineering methods to confirm that, yes the contractor has attained the prescribed road specifications,” Eng. Mushota said.
He said it is for this reason that RDA engineers are on the ground to ensure that they sample the roads and do the necessary tests to ensure that the roads have been done to the prescribed specifications.
Eng. Mushota however said from the initial tests carried out on the materials used and the proposed methodology of constructing the roads, Government and the RDA are satisfied that AVIC International has done a good job and do not expect any failure on the road again.
Earlier this month, Minister of Housing and Infrastructure Development Vincent Mwale said Government through RDA directed AVIC international Project Engineering Company to redo the works on some roads in the capital due to deformations observed.
Mr. Mwale clarified that the works currently being undertaken are at no cost to the government as they are within the defects liability period.
Sunday 21st June,2020
Government has taken great exception to the video that has gone viral of the UPND President Mr Hakainde Hichilema inspecting Lumumba road in Lusaka alleging that Government spent $ 1.2 billion dollars on the ongoing rehabilitation works on the road.
The contract for the Engineering Design, Rehabilitation, Upgrading and Construction of selected Lusaka Urban Roads in Lusaka City that includes Lumumba, Mungwi, Great North and Ngwerere to Kasisi roads cost $70 million dollars and not $1.2 Billion dollars for Lumumba road as alleged by Mr Hichilema.
Government through RDA directed the contractor AVIC international Project Engineering Company to redo the works on these roads due to deformations observed.
RDA carried out assessments and ordered AVIC to immediately remedy the situation by reworking the asphalt surfacing or the wearing course.
The works are being done at no cost to the Government as it is being done within the defects liability period.
Further it should also be noted that the road has not been handed over to the Government by the Contractor.
Mr Hichilema should learn to engage the necessary stakeholders for him to get factual information on any of the road infrastructure projects instead of misleading the nation on matters he is not competent on.
RDA is a public institution that anchors its work on transparency and accountability and the UPND Leader or any other leader can easily have access to project details once requested upon.
Mr Hichilema's statement on social media should be dismissed with the contempt its deserves as it carries no grain of truth.
The UPND Leader could be mixing with the works that are yet to be embarked on by Messrs China Jiangxi Corporation for International Economic and Technical Cooperation (CJIC) on the 321km Lusaka-Ndola Dual Carriage Way.
AVIC international is a reputable road construction company that has done quality works on many road infrastructure projects for a considerable period of time in Zambia.
However, the RDA has a vendor rating system in place that carries out assessments on road projects and contractors found wanting are directed to redo the work until the Agency is satisfied with the performance.
Government will not be derailed by people like Mr Hichilema who are in the habit of making negative statements but will continue to deliver developmental projects such as a good road network not only in Lusaka but throughout the country.
Hon. Vincent Mwale MP
MINISTER HOUSING AND INFRASTRUCTURE DEVELOPMENT