BY PATRICIA SIBANDA
The District Development Fund (DDF) has put on hold construction of Simukwe bridge, which links Matobo and Mangwe districts in Matabeleland South due to lack of funds to complete the project amid reports that huge quantities of cement were stolen at the camp.
Moment Malandu, DDF’s Matabeleland South provincial planning officer told Sunday Southern Eye that construction would resume once more funds were allocated by the government.
Malandu said there were only two contract workers at the site and one permanent one to guard the camp.
“What l want to correct is that informants say 300 bags of cement were stolen, instead they were 107 according to the audit observations after that report came through,” he said.
“We reported the case to the police and l have all the papers with me because the way it was put across it’s as if the government is just sitting and doing nothing, promoting corruption whereas we are not tolerant to such.”
Malandu said villagers in Mangwe and Matobo should not think that the government has abandoned them.
“Mangwe and Matobo people are now wondering why we stopped construction and the reason behind that is because last year as you are aware we received a lot of rains and many roads got damaged,” he said.
“Therefore under the Emergency Road Rehabilitation programme we were directed by the government to concentrate on the roads, which were damaged and that is where the funding is now channelled to, for roads to be passable again.
“Once we are done with that, we will then go back and finish up the Simukwe and other bridges.”
Malandu said DDF was currently working on five pending bridges in different parts of the province including the Simukwe one.