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Nkayi sends roads SOS to govt

by Staff reporter
20 May 2022 at 06:28hrs | Views
NKAYI Rural District Council (RDC) has sent a distress call to the Government over lack of road maintenance machinery, a development that has seen it being shortchanged by contracted companies.

The RDC last took delivery of road maintenance equipment in 2013, a grader whose purchase was funded by the Zimbabwe National Road Authority (Zinara).

Nkayi acting chief executive officer Mr Lawrence Mudimba told a visiting Emergency Road Rehabilitation Programme 2 Provincial Technical Committee led by the Permanent Secretary in the Office of the President and Cabinet for the District Development Fund Mr Christopher Shumba at Hompane Shopping Centre in Nkayi district yesterday that this was hampering work.

"As a council we are out sourcing the service but the contractor we hired has been changing goalposts because we basically do not have our own equipment. At one time he raised an Interim Payment Certificate with a variance. We sat down and agreed that he then reduce the scope of the work so that it meets what he has been paid. However, he later said due to inflation they were no longer coming to the ground," he said.

In response, Mr Shumba acknowledged the challenge which he said was not only confined to Nkayi Rural District Council but to many other financially distressed local authorities who have to endure the agony of competing for machinery with what he termed "sharks."

Mr Shumba said they might have to advocate for a centralised acquisition of machinery by Government on behalf of local authorities.

"The Nkayi-Bulawayo road could actually be better done by Nkayi RDC but their dilemma is lack of machinery," said Mr Shumba.

Procurement Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (PRAZ) chief executive officer Mr Clever Ruswa said local authorities who are dissatisfied with a contractor must make a formal presentation to PRAZ for remedial action to be taken instead of resorting to reducing the scope of work initially agreed upon.

"There is no need to reduce the scope of work because this is against the Government priorities, if money has been exhausted, ask for funding through the PTC to complete, Zinara is aware that there is inflation. All that is needed is proper acquittal," said Mr Ruswa.

Meanwhile, Mr Shumba expressed satisfaction with the roads construction progress by Nkayi RDC, the Roads Department and the District Development Fund.

"They are doing well although we may want more in terms of the Bulawayo-Nkayi road which is under the Department of Roads, more mileage should be given to that stretch because it's the main link between Bulawayo and Nkayi but generally they are doing well and we are happy," said Mr Shumba during an interview on the sidelines of the roads tour.

He said they will be working with Nkayi RDC management on the acquisition of machinery.

"We need to assist management to acquire more machinery so that they can do more work as in-house tasks rather than output project. We have also encouraged them to cover the whole of Nkayi instead of concentrating on a few roads," said Mr Shumba.

The delegation will today visit Lupane district before proceeding to Binga tomorrow and winding up their assessment tour in Hwange on Sunday.  Tsholotsho district will be the only district not visited.

Source - The Chronicle
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