Editor's Note: Issue 320, Week 20, 2017

Why can't we get our roads right the first time?

I’m literally jumping up and down with joy. My road, the Mungwi Road in Lusaka West, is finally about to be rehabilitated, to the delight of everyone but our many self-appointed pothole-mending teams. The sad part is that the Mungwi Road has undergone its transformation from a-little-rough-around-the-edges road to let’s-just-stay-at-home road in a lot less than 10 years. And it is not the only one. Infrastructure Permanent Secretary Charles Mushota has just lamented the fact that many new township roads in Lusaka are developing cracks within years of being constructed. He put the problem down to shoddy work, and I agree. However, the buck doesn’t stop with the contractors. It stops with government! Government is to blame for rushing through a myriad of projects that were badly planned and poorly executed using overpriced contractors. We are now paying the price. Has anyone thought about what the cost is of not doing it right the first time?

Camilla Hebo Buus, Editor Zambia Weekly