Malawi’s construction industry continues to grapple with institutionalized corruption and outright fraud as citizens continue receiving substandard work below any set standard. Poorly constructed roads continue to litter the country’s residential areas as another form of cashgate in the country takes shape.
There are a number of roads that had been contracted to PLEM Construction that have developed cracks a few months after completion of the contractor’s work. A clear example of such substandard work is the Airport-Chiputula-Katawa Road in Mzuzu which, just three months after President Peter Mutharika’s tour, has developed cracks.
It has been discovered that such substandard work is a deliberate ploy by PLEM’s authorities to reap off government on renovations of the same roads when the cracks develop. This is in contrast to what PLEM Construction Company’s site agent said late last month that the upgrading of some roads such as the Lilongwe Area 23 one was affected by heavy rains. The explanations may have just been means of evading the media and the anger of the residents.
For a well established company that successfully bid for and wins government contracts, it is absurd to be giving excuses over weather when they new prior to bidding that the roads would be constructed in the rainy season.
The sad part is that as the substandard roads continue littering our residential areas, government is continuously losing out in renovations time and again, with PLEM and other such contractors winning the contracts.