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K20 Billion Mzuzu Youth Centre construction project stalled

By Cosmas Bwanali

Youths in Mzuzu City  have expressed concern over  the slow pace of the K20 Billion Mzuzu Youth Centre construction project which has stalled since December, 2022.

The youth expressed their disappointment Wednesday when District Youth Technical Working Group for Mzimba North and Mzimba North Youth Network visited the project site.

Speaking on behalf of the youth, District Chairperson for Mzimba North District Youth Technical Group, James Gondwe said that they visited the site to appreciate progress of construction works of the centre.

“We are surprised to learn from the contractor that they completed digging foundation pits in December, 2022 but have not yet received a structural plan to proceed with construction.

This is sad and we are going to formally raise our concerns with the Ministry of Youth and the Director of Buildings so that the contractor is provided with the structural plan as soon as possible,” said Gondwe.

Vice Chairperson for Mzimba North District Youth Network, Mathews Kajani, Gondwe echoed the disappointment adding that there was also need for government to consider responding to the youth’s request to review the project plan to accommodate some of their proposed facilities.

“We have noted that a football pitch is missing in the plan and the design is not disability friendly. We requested the ministry to consider these features but we have not yet received any feedback,” said Kajani.

Project Site Supervisor for DEC Construction Limited which was awarded the contract, Wongani Phiri said the company mobilised all construction materials are available on site but has not yet been furnished with a structural plan.

“We were ready to start the first phase of this project in December, but without a structural plan, we cannot go ahead.

“Our fear is that the foundation ditches keep sliding due to rains and we are incurring additional costs on redoing the works.

We would have preferred if the work was given to a private firm which would work on the design so that project is completed on time,” he said.

The first phase of the   project was expected to run for 12 months, however Phiri hinted that the delays in progression are likely to push the project deadline further.

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