The cancellation of 33 construction contracts in Western and North-western provinces because of either poor workmanship or failure to meet agreed targets is not only a welcome move but also demonstrates the seriousness that Government is now attaching to public property.
Government has to break with the past order of doing things where shoddy works were accepted.
There was a colossal amount of funds lost through construction of infrastructure which in most cases did not survive the expected life span.
Instead of the project supervisors ensuring that the infrastructure met the tender benchmarks, this was never the case.
Contractors should know that the money which goes into construction works of public infrastructure is tax payer’s money which should be used prudently.
Workers and other business persons pay taxes to enable Government embark on the provision of social amenities and infrastructure development.
It is therefore an act of ingratitude for contractors selected to benefit from tax payers’ sweat to abuse public trust by engaging in the contraction of poor public works.
This is the main reason Government should be tough on contractors who abuse public trust and funds.
To ensure that the contractors get this message loud and clear, we urge Government to go beyond the mere cancellation of construction contracts resulting from shoddy works and ensure that culprits are brought to book.
Shoddy works are easy to detect because they are a product of wrong mixture of materials and also the use of unqualified manpower.
Some of our contractors usually embark on the journey of disregarding contractual specifications after winning a tender.
Therefore, the supervisory role should be strengthened to allow for regular checks on contractors undertaking Government projects.
The contractors should be made aware of their obligations at every stage of the project cycle.
The culture of supervisors showing up at the commencement of the project and resurfacing at completion point should come to an end.
We say this because we know that professional contractors are well organised businessmen who work according to time and specification.
Given all the right material and all logistics in place, professional contractors would normally meet their targets and come up with professional.
It is therefore the job of all contracting Government departments to ensure that all the logistics and materials are put in place to ensure that when the contractors takes up jobs, there would be no room for excuses.
This is the only way that Government can demand full value for the public projects being undertaken.
It is also at this point that Government would ensure that contractors did not blame shoddy works on lack of adequate material.