Govt bungles Mtshabezi project

BULAWAYO South MP Eddie Cross on Tuesday castigated the manner Zinwa engineers are handling the supervision of Tokwe
Mukorsi and Mtshabezi Dam projects, accusing them of being negligent.

REPORT BY SENIOR PARLIAMENTARY REPORTER

Cross said if competent engineers and contractors were not found to supervise major undertakings like these, the two projects would be in jeopardy and lots of money lost in the process.

The MP was debating a motion by the chairperson of the Public Accounts Committee, Webber Chinyadza, who had presented a damning report based on audits of dam construction projects by the Comptroller and Auditor-General.The committee’s conclusion was that Zinwa was failing to discharge its mandate on the dams and as a result, the government was losing a lot of revenue.

“When we visited Tokwe Mukorsi Dam site, the engineer in charge of the project was in an air-conditioned office and was surrounded by empty beer bottles while other staff had left for the weekend,” Cross said.

“I have never seen a construction site in such a mess and this project was initiated in 1998 and it has now cost three times more than its original amount, but still remains at 68% complete.”

Cross said $15 million was allocated for Tokwe Mukorsi this year and the government should ensure that a competent contractor is appointed.

“These projects should be supervised properly by professional engineering firms. Zinwa is incapable of supervising construction as they do not have the skills,” Cross said.

On Mtshabezi Dam, Cross said two pipelines from Mtshabezi to Umzingwane were completed last year, but there was a problem where recommendations that cement pipes be installed were not followed by the engineers
and instead plastic pipes had been used.

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