People and companies that were listed for compensation in the construction of tarmac roads in Mzuzu will not be compensated as government has avoided K1.1 billion cost.
Government is currently constructing tarmac roads in the city of Mzuzu and to pave the way for the works, houses and other structures on the road reserves were earmarked for demolition, with the owners set to be compensated.
Structures on 10 kilometres roads that are to be constructed were valued at K1.1 billion while the total cost for the project is K4.7 billion.
Briefing Minister of Local Government and Rural development Kondwani Nankhumwa last week on progress of two roads under construction, Pamodzi Consulting Ltd engineer Jephter Chagunda said the cost of compensating people is too high and the council cannot afford it.
He said the best the council can do is have the people continue living on the road reserves.
Chagunda said people have already been informed that they will not be compensated and that they should continue to live along the roads.
“We are working with community leaders who are councillors. They have informed people that there will be no compensations and that people should continue to live there,” said Chagunda.
He said the contractor will have to construct the road within the space that was occupied by earth roads, adding the roads will be narrower than the initial designs.
“The money saved on such sections will be used to construct other roads,” he said.
However, some of the structures are on the edge of the road and any works involving heavy machinery will affect the structures. There have been cases in other areas where compaction of the roads led to cracks on structures that government wanted to avoid for compensation. A recent case is the one that led to stalling of Jenda Edingeni road in Mzimba as houses developed cracks following use of heavy machinery.
Minister of Local Government and Rural Development Kondwani Nankhumwa said government had to balance the cost of the project and relocation of the people. He said the cost of relocation is much higher than the K1 billion that was released as a first lot.
He said as the construction works will cost K4.7 billion, removing K1.1 billion for compensation from that amount would affect the project. n