By ROGERS KALERO
‘HIRED guns’ will not succeed in shooting down the Consortium of Local Contractors and Allied Suppliers (ColCAS) because it is working for the interest of the local contractors,’ consortium president John Chilupula has said.
Mr Chilupula said he was not shaken by attacks from the ‘hired guns’ because the consortium was on firm ground as evidenced by the increasing number of local contractors who were getting jobs from the time the consortium was formed.
Recently, some local contractors presented a petition to Copperbelt Minister Japhen Mwakalombe in Ndola, complaining that the consortium was compromised and sharing contracts among top officials.
But Mr Chilupula said the consortium would continue to ensure that local contractors were given jobs and that allegation against his organisation were being peddled by elements that had been hired.
He was speaking in an interview in Kitwe.
“The interest of the consortium is to make sure that we strengthen the voice of the local contractors, but if some youths are being used to call for the disbanding of the consortium, then they are wasting their time.
“We will not dance to the tune of the drums being beaten by disgruntled people. So like I said, hired guns will not stop us from achieving our desired goals,” Mr Chilupula said.
Mr Chilupula accused some political party leaders of sending some youths to cause confusion
He said consortium was grateful to President Edgar Lungu for listening to the cries of the local contractors and giving a directive of the 20 per cent sub-contracting policy to be implemented.
Mr Chilupula said, with the help of the Special Assistant to the President on Project Monitoring Andrew Chellah and National Construction Council (NCC), the consortium had recorded the highest number of sub-contractors engaged since the 20 per cent policy was pronounced.
“The benefits are spreading evenly to all the districts. Our statistics indicate that after the consortium was given various projects amounting to US$3.9million, five company members with higher NCC grades were engaged and each of these engaged, three each as subordinate contractors bringing the number to 20,” Mr Chilupula said.