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Malawi to Criminalize Construction Of Substandard Projects

By Wisdom Ngwira

Lilongwe, February, 16, Mana: Malawi Government will soon start prosecuting contractors and consultants of government construction projects who do not meet set standards.

This was disclosed on Wednesday in Lilongwe by Minister of Transport and Public Works, Jacob Hara during a media briefing.

“We have seen of late some road constructions deteriorating even when they are still at construction level just because they are done in a substandard way.

“To us that is pure theft to government because we end up pumping in extra money on projects that were already funded. This is the reason that we have decided to start taking such contractors to task by prosecuting them and if found guilty, necessary punishments be meted,” he said.

The Minister said government would procure a deflectometre machine that would be used to measure whether a construction project has met set standards.

“Government is developing a National Building Policy which will be used as a yard stick on all construction projects to improve standards. Once we discover that someone is breaching the set standards, we will take legal action,” he added.

Hara expressed concern over some consultants who connive with consultants in certifying substandard works.

“We have discovered that some consultants are conniving with these substandard contractors by certifying works that have been done by cutting corners.

“What they do is quickly certify those projects as being fit even if they are not and give us a clean report. When we pay the contractor money, the contractors give kickbacks to the consultant, this is regrettable,” he complained.

Minister of Information and Digitalization, Gospel Kazako said with the new set construction standards, there would bring sanity in the construction industry.

“It is sad seeing projects that have been done recently looking in a very bad state because some people used shortcuts yet they were adequately funded. We believe criminalizing substandard construction works will be of great importance,” he said.

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