A major scandal has rocked a Stadium contractor in Tanzania after the government unraveled an illegal timber workshop operating within the premises of the National Stadium in Dar es Salaam.
Information, Culture, Arts and Sports Minister Nape Nnauye, made an impromptu visit at the site that is meant to be Beijing Construction Engineering Group Company worker’s residence.
The company was contracted to build the ultra-modern National Stadium as well as the reconstruction of Uhuru Stadium in the city.
Instead, in an a shocking incidence, the minister found a fully equipped timber factory established at the venue and worse enough, the factory supplies finished furniture products like doors and cupboards to other projects contrary to the signed contract between the government and the Chinese company.
He accused the company of engaging on other businesses at the expense of the project and contrary to the contract agreements. “You are delaying to finish the contractual obligation of the Uhuru Stadium project, just because you have been benefiting from other projects that are not part of your contract,” charged the minister.
In his defense, Hui said it was a temporary project but the defense did not convince the Minister who ordered the factory be closed down immediately.
According to Rashid Ramadhani, the factory supervisor, they supply doors to an unidentified housing project in Kigamboni, located in Dar es Salaam’ outskirts. He said the illegal business has been in existence for over eight years. He added that up to date, they have supplied over 500 doors in addition to making cupboards for the same project.
The minister tasked the company to take care of the workers’ welfare even as the factory remained closed. This is after it emerged that they were only paid 7,000/- daily.
In a media brief to journalists after the visit, the minister said that there had been several complains over the slow pace at which the contractors were handling work on the Uhuru Stadium project. Minister Nape said he has been pushing for speedy work on the project since he assumed office but instead he suspected that there was ‘something fishy’ causing the delay.
He said his office is aware of other illegal businesses going on and which are not part of the contract. He promised his ministry will uncover the whole saga and appropriate action taken.
The Minister further Nape directed that nothing should be allowed in or out of the factory with immediate effect. He also directed the responsible organs to take appropriate actions against the company’s management for breaching the contract.
The minister put the Stadium Manager, Ishi Urio, to give explanation why all this happened. Away from the timber saga, the minister issued an ultimatum of 30-day to the Chinese company to set up an electronic -ticketing system at the National Stadium as part of the contract.
He also wanted the company to clarify when the Uhuru Stadium will be handed over to the government. Aloyce Mushi, the project consultant said the structure will be ready in a week’s time and officially handed over to government as soon as possible.