Road construction contractors under fire for impregnating under age girls

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By Lisa Nyanhongo

EMPLOYEES of construction companies contracted to work on the country’s roads have been accused of impregnating under age girls in areas they are working in then abandoning them for their families.

The finding has been unearthed following a fact finding visit by the joint Transport and SDGs parliamentary portfolio committee to various roads under construction across the country.

The visit was aimed at assessing progress on the Roads Rehabilitation programme (RRP) and other infrastructure.

A representative of villagers in Maramba district, Uzumba-Maramba- Pfungwe, told the committee that people in her area were not happy about the companies’ employees concentrating on women and impregnating young girls.

“If you look at this bridge, it was being constructed by another contractor. We were shocked to see soil being mixed with gravel and ‘this and that’ with no work being done,” said the woman.

“They spent their time at the shops looking for girls instead of the work they had been assigned to do, and they come without equipment.

“We once came here as parents to see what was taking place as they just sat entertaining girls. What we saw shocked us. Only napkins and their “wives” here, with no action being taken to do the real job,” she said.

Chairperson of the Transport parliamentary committee, Oscar Gorerino, said that the contractors’ employees were leaving children in villages surrounding their workstations after impregnating under age girls.

Senator Watson Khupe reminded some of the contractors that they are bound to lose their contracts if the habit continues.

“Are you as Fossil (one of the companies) aware that you can lose your contract if you are caught on the wrong side of the law?” asked Khupe.

In defense, one of the Fossil engineers working along the Masvingo-Harare Highway defended his company, indicating they could do very little about what their employees got to during their personal times.

“What employees do after work is not our business. We cannot follow each one of them at their homes or temporary shelters.

“The issue is very sensitive, but we will try to report on it. We try to have meetings with the workers that there are sexually transmitted diseases and stuff so guys try to protect yourselves,” the engineers said.

The engineer added: “As a company, we do not condone such behaviour, but if it takes place in the eyes of everyone as is in this case, we are compelled to report to relevant authorities, but it is difficult to control an adult.

“It is difficult to trace as to what workers are up to after work. They are humans.”