The Water Services Association of Malawi (WASAMA) has pleaded with government to consider clearing its water bills with the utility organizations in Malawi citing the reason that the government does not have funds as baseless.
WASAMA Executive Director, Benedict Chakhame in a statement issued in Lisbon, Portugal where he is attending the International Water Association (IWA) World Water Congress, said following recent reports that government is in the process of paying or has paid a business tycoon a cool K1 billion in compensation while it fails to pay for the water bills, is regrettable.
Chakhame said for the past six to ten years government through the Treasury and the Accountant General’s departments have lived in promising the water utility organisations in Malawi on clearing water bills, but to no avail.
“It is very sad to note that to-date, almost all the Water Boards are being owed not less than K600 million each with others being owed over a billion,” he said.
He said the water utility organisations have tried to knock on various government doors for the past years, including that of Water Department, the controller of statutory corporations, the treasury,
the accountant general and the Chief Secretary’s office to present their dying statutes, but the song has always been government does not have money.
“These bills are accumulated by government departments including the Malawi Defense Force (MDF), the Malawi Police Service (MPS), State Residences, Malawi Prisons Service, Ministries of Health and Education,” said Chakhame in the statement.
He added that WASAMA feels that most of the government institutions are some of the major customers to other Boards, especially regional boards who at times contribute over sixty percent of the revenue base.
Also in the statement, Chakhame noted that “the Boards run the operations mostly relying on the revenue from the poor Malawians who are classified as private customers as the government institutions are called public customers”.