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    MALAWI’S FIRST SIX-LANE ROAD STALLS DUE TO CONTRACTOR’S CAPACITY CRISIS

    There are strong doubts whether the Chinese contractor given the K19 billion project to expand the Kenyatta Drive into a six-lane highway has the right capabilities to undertake the project as designed.

    The doubts have emerged following delays on commencement of the project since it was launched mid last year.

    Besides protests by environmental activists over the lack of an environmental impact assessment report, China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation (CCECC) has failed to start any works as per agreed terms with Ministry of Transport and Public Works.

    After the issues with environmentalists were sorted out, the company still failed to commence any serious works on the 4.2 kilometer project besides felling trees and clearing the roadside.

    When quizzed why it has taken them so many months to get the project underway, the company has blamed relocation of services from the road reserve as the main setback.

    Despite clearing the adjacent fields to the existing road, work has failed to gain momentum as expected

    Surprisingly, the only area that has services for relocation is the stretch from Kamuzu Central Hospital roundabout to Standard Bank in Old Town, also known as Sharrar Street.

    It had to take President Lazarus Chakwera, through his delivery unit, to make follow ups on why the project was delaying six months after he commissioned it.

    China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation’s entry into the Malawi market has been an issue of concern among Malawians who know the company from elsewhere.

    The construction company was mired in corrupt practices in Botswana years ago when it tried to bribe government officials who were inspecting the shoddy works at the newly-constructed Shakawe Senior Secondary School.

    When the government officials exposed the company to relevant authorities, some CCECC directors bolted and left Botswana.

    With a history of slapdash workmanship across the African continent, CCECC is already presenting doubts among Malawians on whether they will manage to do a cloverleaf interchange as was presented by Roads Authority engineers during the commissioning.

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