Engineering institute suspends contractor for shoddy works at Chanda Mall, Makeni


The Engineering Institute of Zambia (EIZ) has suspended the practicing licence of a contractor working on Chanda Mall in Makeni that collapsed whilst under construction, on July 3, 2023, leaving one worker dead.

The licence for Stalwart Investments has been suspended for 60 days, within which the contractor is expected to appear before the EIZ Disciplinary Committee.

This is according to a statement issued on Monday by the EIZ board Chairperson, Michael Nsefu.

Nsefu said investigations by the Engineering Technical Committee revealed that misaligned bally extension joints resulted in failure to transfer loads to the ground and subsequent excessive bending-buckling leading to collapse.

Read more: Engineering Institute seeks demolition of ‘Long Acres’ bridge, 50% of Lusaka-Ndola road project

He explained that this was worsened due to non-provision of lateral bracing to pole wooden ballies timber ledgers which were also found to have decayed as they showed presence of dry rot.

“As an institution, we are extremely saddened by the loss of life during this construction. These are the dangers that come with delivering substandard work at the expense of innocent citizens. This is not only detrimental to the engineering sector, but to the infrastructure development of the country as a whole.

“We are therefore sending a stern warning to all Engineering Organisations and Engineering Professionals undertaking engineering works that we will not tolerate professional misconduct, and anyone found wanting will be brought to book,” he said.

Nsefu said the investigations were conducted to
determine the integrity of Chanda Mall building which established that the main cause of the collapse was inadequate form work design, decayed support structure and inaccurate installation.

According to Nsefu, the technical report further revealed that the construction works and design did not meet the structural integrity of the building and hence the collapse.

He, therefore, reminded engineering professionals and organisations that professional misconduct would result in a licence being revoked and/or punishment as enshrined in the EIZ Act No 17 of 2010.

“As an Institution, EIZ remains committed to regulating and promoting the engineering profession for optimal human resource and benefit to society.

“We would further like to reiterate that there are engineering standards that set clear performance and enables innovation without compromising confidence in the standards achieved,” Nsefu said.

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