…as RDA terminates Locci contract

The Road Development Agency (RDA) has with immediate effect terminated the contract between the agency and Fratelli Locci.

During a media briefing RDA acting Director and Chief Executive Officer Bernard Chiwala announced that the contract for the upgrading of the 70 kilometre of the Pedicle road awarded to Fratelli Locci SRI Limited last year has been terminated.

Mr Chiwala said after reviewing in the procurement processes in the contract, it was discovered that the contract which was tendered at a sum of over K300 billion showed that tender procurement procedures were flouted.

He explained that the contract was irregularly awarded and RDA has so far taken steps to ensure that a new contractor is appointed with minimum delay adding that works for the Pedicle road are expeditiously carried out as planned.

Mr Chiwala said the agency has been working hard to promote the tenets of integrity in its quest to reposition and rebrand the agency as an institution committed to raising the bar of transparency in public contract procurement and management.

President Michael Sata has moved the RDA from Works and Supply to State House.

Recently Andrew Banda, former president Rupiah Banda and his business associate, Locci, were appearing in court but their defence lawyer Eric Silwamba said the charges should be dismissed because they were in bad faith.

Making a submission before magistrate Joshua Banda, Silwamba revealed that an affidavit had been filed in court demanding that the charges against the two should be quashed because they were in bad faith and not legal.

Mr Locci, 73, was arrested and charged on the ground that he agreed to the payment of 2 % solicited by Mr. Andrew Banda on all payments made by Road Development Agency (RDA) on current and future road construction projects.

The company, Fratelli Locci SRI Limited,  was then working on Mufulira roads LOT 2 and Ndola roads LOT 5 under the Formula One Programme.

The same company had been awarded to undertake road works on Pedicle road.

Mr Silwamba said the charges could not be sustained and there was need therefore to dismiss it.

A copy of the affidavit was served on the Director of Public Prosecution Mutembo Nchito who is expected to make a response to the application at the resumption of the trial today.


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