Theft of construction materials has hit the project to rehabilitate of Karonga-Songwe Road being undertaken by Communications Construction Group Co Ltd (ZCCC)
It is believed that people, especially workers, are allegedly conniving with some local contractors and other developers in the district to steal cement, fuel and other construction materials.
Paramount chief Kyungu broke the news of the malpractices to Minister of Transport and Public Works Jappie Mhango when the minister inspected the road last week. The chief feared that if this is not addressed it might affect the cost of the project.
Kyungu asked government to address the issue as soon as possible. He also asked government to flush out subcontractors believed to be part of the theft.
Roads Authority (RA)director of construction Sam Kadangwe said the contractor has been complaining of theft and threats from unknown people.
He, however, asked the contractor to tighten security as the cases mostly concern workers at the company.
Karonga Police Station officer-in-charge Brenant Chitanda said they have arrested five employees of ZCCC on allegations that they were stealing cement.
Mhango said government will not tolerate theft and threats in construction of the road and he ordered further investigations into the matter.
He also called on police, chiefs, Karonga District Council and other stakeholders to team up and fight the malpractice.