By Daniel Sankhulani – MANA
The contractor of the first phase of the Shire Valley Transformation Program (SVTP) canal construction has expressed worry over increased theft of materials and fuel at the construction site.
Conduril has accused its employees of being behind the sad development. The company has since threatened to stop its operations in the area if the trend continues.
The sentiments transpired during stakeholders meeting at Chikwawa Secondary School hall where Shire Valley Transformation Program was giving project progress.
Christopher Mwambeni, Environmental Safeguard Specialist for the program told participants to the meeting that the contractor was worried of vandalism of sign posts by community members and syphoning of fuel by vehicle operators.
“In case they are making loses eventually they will give up, because they can’t continue operating on losses, ” said Mwambeni.
Responding to the concerns, Traditional Authority Kasisi blamed the company for not including his people in the labour force.
“If some of the workers at the construction site were my people, this could not have been happening, they could easily trace the culprits,” Kasisi said.
Human Resource Manager for Conduril, Chrissy Katunga rebuffed allegation by Chief Kasisi saying that most employees at the construction site were from Chikwawa and in TA Kasisi in particular and not from other districts.
“That is not a true reflection on the ground. We have 169 employees. Out of this, 108 employees are coming from within the district with most of them from the area of Kasisi,” said Katunga.
Chikwawa Police Station, Officer in charge, Jane Mandala called on the stakeholders to collaborate and work together.
Mandala asked Conduril to bring to police any culprits.
“Bring the culprits to police so that we should take him/her to court so that people should learn a lesson from them,” said Mandala.
Commenting on the development, Crop Production Manager for ILLOVO, Watson Ligomba said one of the measures to ensure safety on materials at the site was to put all vehicles and machines on track technology, and put springs in the fuel tanks so that syphoning should be difficult.
Conduril company is constructing the six kilometer phase one of the canal from the intake at Kapichira Dam. About ten percent of work is done.