The construction of the K500 million Karonga Stadium has been disrupted by theft of cement coupled with squabbles between the community and Nangaunozge Building Contractors which is in charge of the project, local government authorities have confirmed.
The construction started in November last year and was expected to be completed by next month.
A visit to the stadium this week established that the facility is far from being completed despite only a month remaining before the project’s set deadline.
The terraces are not there, scattered heaps of soil are all over the grass-less pitch, the VIP stand section is not erected and the running tracks are not visible.
The only structures that have been constructed are a perimeter fence and an incomplete ticket sales room.
The project is being funded by German Development Fund KFW, through the Local Development Fund (LDF), which falls under the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development.
LDF development communication specialist, Booker Matemvu, speaking to reporters during a media tour, said the community team tasked to oversee the project has been disagreeing with the contractor over how the project should shape up.
“Our findings show that the community representatives were dictating to the contractor on what should be constructed first and how it should be done,” he said.
Matemvu said the squabbles led to the project being stopped for over two months as they tried to resolve the wrangles.
Nangaunozge Building Contractors representative, Zika Nyirongo, claimed that some workers allegedly stole a truckload of cement.
“The development meant that we had to re-mobilise resources so it also affected our plans,” he said.
Nyirongo further blamed the delay on the project site being waterlogged during the rainy season.
“It was tough to do the work during rainy season. That also affected our plans,” he said.
Meanwhile, LDF has said that the challenges facing the project mean that its deadline will be extended.
“From what we have seen it is impossible for the project to be completed in September. We will assess and see how much grace period we can give the contractor,” Matemvu said.