In a letter to Sogea-Satom Site Camp Manager, Laurent Brouet dated December 19, 2011, the consultant, Nicholas O’Dwyer Resident Engineer, Paul Rushton said the client is concerned by the slow pace of construction work and absence of senior personnel at the site.
“With less than one year remaining, you are substantially behind your intended programme for the completion of the bridges and the pavement layers and a revised programme for completion is long overdue,” wrote Mr Rushton in his letter. The 6- kilometre road which was awarded to Sogea in May 2010 has been implemented by 34 per cent so far after almost one and a half year period and patience both at MCA-Tanzania and Ministry of Works is running out.
“We are really concerned by this pace of implementation of the project and the Minister has already warned against incompetent local and foreign contractors,” a senior official at the Ministry of Works told the 'Daily News' on Monday.
The official said the Minister, Dr John Magufuli will likely visit Songea this month to see progress by the French contractor which won several big road tenders in 2010/11 but is accused of poor performance. The Irish consultant has questioned Sogea-Satom’s failure to hire a Construction Manager and Highway Engineer for the site and regular changing of senior personnel managing it.
“Mr Cysewski is the fourth Project Manager to leave this year after Nicholas Sergent, Roberto Sapone and Frederic Vigouroux and we are very concerned about the high turnover of senior management staff on the project,” Rushton’s letter said. While urging the French company which also won a tender to construct Arusha to Minjingu road last April but is yet to mobilize resources on site, Rushton ordered the company to have a permanent team at the project site as soon as possible.
'Daily News' investigations established that MCA Tanzania wrote Sogea-Satom President Phillipe Chavet last month protesting slow pace of implementation and lack of key staff at the site in Songea. MCA Tanzania is funding the project through an over 62.25bn/- grant from United States government’s Millennium Challenge Corporation. Efforts to get comments from Sogea-Satom proved futile on Monday.