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Photo: O País (cropped)
Mozambican President Filipe Nyusi on Friday warned that corruption among contractors leads to poor quality of building work.
Speaking at a meeting of Maputo contractors on the final day of his tour of the capital, Nyusi said that tenders are sometimes marked by “a game of favours”, under which a contractor might win the tender by offering a fair price for the job, but then “somebody else” turns up and demands a share of the money.
Contractors could win on their own merit – and then suffer “blackmail”, he accused. “This kind of attitude makes the jobs more expensive and compromises quality. What I am asking is that you should blow the whistle on these practices”.
Nyusi said he was concerned that nowadays Mozambican contractors are regarded as synonymous with poor quality of building work.
He added that Mozambican contactors should seek to internationalise their companies. But they could only win contracts in other countries, if their work in Mozambique won them respect.
Nyusi urged the contractors not to limit their efforts to constructing buildings. “Sometimes, when we look for contractors to build bridges, or pave roads, no Mozambicans appear”, he said.
The chairperson of the Mozambican Federation of Contractors, Manuel Pereira, said contractors are called upon to stand in the front line to ensure implementation of the country’s main development objectives, by providing “decent and capable” social and economic infrastructures.
He noted that for several years the question of the quality and resilience of building has been under discussion, and this debate is all the more pressing because of the cyclical natural disasters that Mozambique has faced, causing enormous damage with a heavy weight on people’s lives and on the economy of the country.
He assured Nyusi that the Federation is committed to ensuring the good quality of building work. “This problematic involves and demands responsibility not only from contractors but from all those who are interested parties in construction”, said Pereira.
He was referring to architects and designers, the owners of building jobs, building inspectors, and even the companies that make building materials. “The solution to this problem must be comprehensive”, said Pereira.
The Federation is formed by 11 associations of contractors (one for each Mozambican province), Affiliated in the associations are about 1,200 contractors of the 2,700 in existence.
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