Corruption in Malawi construction industry angers VP Chilima

Malawi VP Chilima: Food response to reach out to everyone affected

Malawi VP Chilima: This had to stop!

The Vice President, Dr. Saulos Chilima, has expressed concern on cost overruns, project delays and corruption in the construction industry and he has threatened to name and shame the culprits.

Chilima made the remarks on Tuesday when he officially opened the 3-day 5th International Construction Conference held at the Bingu International Convention Centre (BICC) in Lilongwe.

The Veep, who is also champion for the Construction Sector Transparency (CoST) initiative, said the malpractices were uncalled for and a taint to the image of the industry and that something had to be done before it was too late.

“I know there is indiscipline, corruption, bribery and a deep seated culture of allowances that is choking operations in the industry…There have been media revelations that projects which do not have provision for allowances suffer a lot because officials shun such projects,” said Chilima.

He continued: “This is uncalled for and morally wrong, to say the least. This has to stop. You are holding your country to a ransom at the expense of personal needs.”

The Vice President said he was made to believe that there was a conflict of interest by some quarters in the sector who would do whatever it would take to delay government projects so that they benefitted through inflated costs.

“Come to think about delayed projects like the Cancer Centre project, Phalombe Hospital, and Chikwawa Teachers Colleges,” said Chilima. “Aren’t we delaying our own development and punishing the future generation for the sins they haven’t committed?

“Think about the abandoned or delayed health centers, class room blocks. What and where is our conscious when we steal funds or frustrate projects that are purely meant to uplift the life of the poor citizen in the village or indeed across the country?”

The Veep concluded by stressing that as Cost Champion, he would work hand in hand with the National Construction Industry Council (NCIC) and the line ministry “to name and shame those who will be found on the wrong side of the law”.

NCIC Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Linda Phiri, admitted that there had indeed been cases of corruption; delaying projects and overrun costs and that as Council they had taken action.

“We have a committee that investigates such malpractices and whenever there is evidence of such malpractice we evoke the licenses of the involved contractors and we publish their names in the papers,” said Phiri.

The 5th International Construction Conference has drawn over 250 participants in the construction industry from Malawi and across the SADC region.

The theme for the conference is Construction Industry Relevance; a Shift Towards Sustainable and Resilient Infrastructure and it is aimed at finding lasting solutions to the challenges facing the industry in the wake of climate change.

Quantity Survey expert, Prof. Daniel Hoffman of the University of Pretoria, South Africa, is the key speaker at the conference with his presentation on Green Building innovation.

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8 thoughts on “Corruption in Malawi construction industry angers VP Chilima”

  1. mtimbasonjo says:

    Mota Engil is a multinational. Their works are mostly superb if the construction contract specifies so.
    In Zambia right from Mwami (Malawi/Zambia border post) through Chipata to Lusaka they have constructed super highway.
    I quizzed one of the Engineers on site to know why they same company constructs substandard roads without adequate kerbs, poor drainage system and leave gaping holes where they haul gravel sand which are environmentary hazardous . The engineer said ” We do the job according to what is specified in the contruct. What you see is what is in the contract here in Zambia” In this Road no body, politician or Civil servant has demanded us to give him/her a certain percentage of our profit either within or without Zambia. But it is not the case in Malawi.”
    So lets blame ourselves not the contractor.
    I should personally thank Mota Engil for freely taring about 30 meters into Malawi. The Malawi part was a pathetic part before you did a good job. It was filthy and dusty

  2. The beholder says:

    Smoke screen plus cosmetic intelligence nothing new from the VP himself. We have career corrupt politicians in the current administration masquerading to be sound yet lose morals rule their enterprise. Malawians are getting a raw deal where the same corrupt politicians unashamedly feasting the taxpayers money!!!!!

  3. hoitty says:

    I don’t think there is any department that is bothered to inspect these projects. Almost all road projects have no drainage system or poorly constructed drains. One example is the substandard roads being constructed on BT city. like all other Malawian roads ziyamba kudyeka mbali cz of plrains, parking and no pavement and drainage system. Chonsecho you guys go outside the country and see how roads are constructed.. Shame to this poor mind of thinking from president,VP,mimisters.. cz you open these roads and clap hands to mediocrity like you did not spend 50yrs in US Peter Mutharika. if I were president I would not tolerate such stupidity…kaya poti bola tala mxiiiii zitsiru

  4. wakwiya says:

    The best is to get Mota Engil out of country. It’s a company of Muntharika. It milks poor Malawians tax money. It gets all contracts which is paid by the government. Some percentage of the money go to bank account of Muntharika now APM. How can a poor Portuguese company be the only company to get contracts? It is the same company which built Ndata and Musolium of Bingu and his wife. These Muntharikas has really milked Malawians.

  5. True Patriot says:

    Very tough speaking Mr Veep but you disappoint a little bit.

    Why would you foam this much? Is it because the construction industry couldn’t beat you politicians but, clevery joined and are now beating you at your own game? Give us a break!

    You want us to believe that you and your boss don’t believe the numerous revelations about corruption in very high places in your government?

    What will it take for you to, just confront, the chief government mafia on these allegations? So you are too scared of him therefore you resort to venting your anger and frustrations at the defenceless contractors?

    Yes, you are really long-sighted bats that can see a moth a mile away but can’t see an owl two yards away!

    A country that is blessed with such a huge potential as in the Veep but only moves in a wrong direction is really cursed!

  6. Achimidzimidzi says:

    VP Saulosi Chilima is afraid of the thieves in construction industry. First of all he waited for this conference to say whatever threats and he will until next conference. This is how a president think in Malawi.

  7. Charlie Hebdo says:

    Isn’t it just today that we heard Mota Engil is bankrolling Chaponda’s campaign? Most construction companies are very corrupt. However we cannot entirely put the blame on them. You see construction contracts runs into billions of Kwachas. To be awarded these contracts one has to do a little bit of Palm oiling. We know where the rot is. It is with the leadership. The get rich quick schemes of our leaders is to blame. So Mr Veep, don’t beat about the bush. You know the culprits. The late Bingu is one of those who benefited from these contracts without regard of the people’s suffering.

    1. mudzalila says:

      Mr vice president, corruption is everywhere in Malawi.Sort it!

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