ENERGY Minister, Dr Medard Kalemani has issued a three week ultimatum to A2Z Intra Engineering Limited contractors to electrify the pending 66 villages in Dodoma or face the wrath of the law.
Apparently, the minister instructed the Rural Energy Agency (REA) to impose a 10 per cent statutory deduction to the contractor’s allowance for delaying to complete his job as stipulated in the contract.
Details from the ministry indicate that A2Z had won a 47.6bn/- electricity project to connect 167 villages within 24 months.
The project which was to be completed in July 28, 2019, was pushed forward to June 30, 2020 on geographical reasons. But until August 12, 2020, about 66 villages had not been electrified.
“Enough is enough,” the minister said. “You have played delaying tactics for a long, and the public does not need to see electricity poles but electricity in their homes.”
To demonstrate that he meant what he said, the minister ordered authorities in Chemba district to confiscate travelling documents of the company’s top representatives and instructed them not to leave the district until the project is complete.
He blamed the firm for not being serious and REA for failing to do its supervisory role.
He further ordered REA’s Acting Technical Manager, Thomas Mbaga to remain in the project area and should not leave until the job is fully completed.
The minister made an impromptu inspection of an ongoing construction work of power distribution lines at Gonga, Babayu, Makorongo and Kwa Mtoro villages.
The Kwa Mtoro electric project, for instance, involves a construction of a 96.1 kilometre power distribution line, where 73km have been completed.
Frank Chambua, a Tanzania National Electric Company Limited (Tanesco) official said a total of 17.1 km will be completed by August 23, 2020.
The minister, however, said he would switch on the light to the village on August 22.
A2Z representative on his part attributed the delays to changes in designs on the Farkwa dam project, but the minister said the firm had been “too stingy.”
Simon Udunga, the Chemba District Commissioner alleged that the contractor has not been at the site and only appears when state officials tour the area.
He said the last time he disappeared for six months and only showed up when Prime Minister Kassim Majaliwa held a tour in the district.
“Initially, I ordered them to increase the number of workforce so that this work is finished on time, but from what I see, there is no sufficient team to finish the job,” he said.
The minister said come September 15, all projects implemented under the first round of REA phase three will be completed. In Dodoma region, a total of 393 villages out of 581 have already been connected.
This is an equivalent of 67.47 per cent of all villages in the region.