Plans by Minister of Local Government and Rural Development, Kondwani Nankhumwa to launch the newly constructed stadium in Karonga in August this year have been postponed following the delay in completion of the project.
The Ministry’s publicist, Muhlabase Mughogho said the minister was expected to inaugurate the stadium on August 15, but there is much on the ground that remains unfinished.
“We received reports from the contractor that the stadium would be finished by July 31, as such, it pleased the honourable minister to open it on August 15.
“However, our findings on the site indicate that the inside drainage, running tracks, plumbing, electrical works and landscaping are unfinished.
“As such, we may postpone the launching programme and we have asked the contractor to work extra hard and finish the job by 31st August,” Mughogho said.
She was speaking on Thursday, when Principal Secretary (PS) in the ministry, Kiswell Dakamau visited the stadium and expressed disappointment following the delay.
During the visit, the PS observed that the stadium would be flooded during rainfall period if the outer drainage will not be constructed.
It was established that the K504 million worth Karonga Stadium was constructed on a waterlogged area without a survey.
However, speaking later after being summoned by officials from the ministry and Local Development Fund (LDF), Nangaunozge Building Contractor proprietor, Henry Shaba, MP, said construction was based on an initial design for the site that was later abandoned.
“We had a good site for the stadium, but we were forced by community members to shift it to this place; as such, our work was based on that very first drawing,” Shaba said.
Shaba attributed the delay of the construction of the stadium to bad weather condition, theft of materials at the site, and lack of coordination between himself and the supervising engineer.
“We have been on and off during the past rainfall period; Also, since the time the project was started there has been theft of cement by some workers,” Shaba lamented.
He later assured the officials that he has financial muscle to finish the project by August 31st.
Construction of the stadium which started in September, 2016 was initially scheduled to end by May 31st this year.
The PS is on record to have warned contractors who delay government projects that they risk losing future business. He sounded the warning in Nkhatabay recently when he inspected construction of a new bus depot and market. (By Bishop Witmos, Karonga, July 31, Mana)