Deputy Minister for Works, Transport and Communication, Elias Kwandikwa told the lawmakers here yesterday that ministry of Finance and Planning had already disbursed payments meant to clear contractors’ debts.
He said there has been outcry on late delays to contractors undertaking the government projects but the situation had changed and now the government is doing all it takes to ensure no more delayed payments.
The deputy minister was responding to a supplementary question by the Rombo MP, Joseph Selasini (CHADEMA), who had wanted to know what the government was doing to pay debts owed to contractors that in turn cause delays in various projects.
“Most of the construction projects in the country are always slow with contractors citing late delay in payments and outstanding debts, what is the government doing to end the problem?” he asked.
The deputy minister maintained that the government was aware of the challenge, noting that it had started paying the contractors owed monies, informing the House of the recently released funds from the treasury.
Earlier in the basic question, the Special Seats MP, Agness Marwa (CCM) had wanted to know when the Makutano,Sanzate to Natta road would be completed, arguing the construction has taken too long to be completed.
“When shall the road project be completed to end woes that people who use the road are facing?” she asked.
The deputy minister in response said the mentioned road is part of the Makutano Juu-Natta-Mugumu-Loliondo-Mto wa Mbu-Makuyuni road, stretching 437 kilometres.
He said some 50 kilometres from Makutano Juu to Sanzate is under construction at tarmac level by M/s Mbutu Bridge JV contractor at the cost of 50.4 billion/-.
Kwandikwa noted that the construction works began on 5th April, 2013 and was scheduled to end by 16th May,2015 but the contractor was given more time until 28th February,2019 to complete the road construction.
“Following various challenges including change of the design, late payments and a lot of rains forced the project to stall for a long time,” he said.
He told the National Assembly that the contractor requested for more time to be able to complete the project in January, 2020.