Chakwera defends MPs housing project, fails to name investor: ‘It doesn’t mean govt won’t build for civil servants’ 

President Lazarus Chakwera has come gun-blazing in his defense of his plan to build houses for members of parliament (MPs) in their constituency which has come under heavy resistance from the opposition.

Chakwera first appearance in the Malawi Parliament to respond to question from Members of Parliament-pic by Lisa Kadango,Mana

The opposition and analysts have chided the move and, instead, advised Chakwera to priotise constructing houses for civil servants including teachers and health workers.

However, during his Thursday session of answering questions in Parliament the His Excellency Question Time (HEQs), Chakwera said building house for MPs doesn’t mean government won’t build houses for civil servants.

“The housing problem of civil servants is a legacy of the DPP. I am here to correct it,” said Chakwera, flanked by  the country’s second-in-command Saulos Chilima in the House.

Chakwera said while housing was a challenge to public servants, particularly security agencies and teachers, he said his governments approach was holistic.

“While houses for teachers and security agents are priority we are looking at this challenge holistically,” he said.

“We will continue constructing houses for all our civil servants. However, we will also construct houses for parliamentarians because we believe the move will improve accountability people in the constituency,” he said.

He also said it is surprising that some MPs are against the proposed housing project but none of the MPs has come forward to forfeit their housing allowances which cost tax payers money K2.7 billion every term.

Chakwera said: “The people of Malawi will pay over K2.7 billion in housing allowances to the members of this House during this term of office, yet not a single member has stood up to say that they would like to forfeit this allowance to go towards their constituents.

“From this double standard, I discern that the objections to the provision of an official house for MPs are not motivated by a desire to save money, but a desire to keep Malawians paying MPs’ housing allowances indefinitely.

“My proposal would cost the Malawian taxpayer nothing and save the taxpayer billions in the long term, so I am amazed that there are members here who believe it would be better to keep costing the taxpayer billions and saving the taxpayer nothing.”

Chakwera announced the MPs housing project in his State of the Nation Address (Sona)  address last Friday.

State House press team said the project will be financed by unnamed investor.

But in a supplementary question to Chakwera during the HEQs, MP for Nkhotakota North East Martha Lunji  asked the President to name the investor  of the project and at how much it will cost “so that we should know the cost of the project.”

The President did not mention the investor and the cost.

Social and political commentator Stanley Onjezani Kenani has observed: “Building houses for MPs is not a priority right now, and there is no other way to put it. We have many priorities as a country, far more critical than houses for MPs.”

Kenani pointed out that the mess in the country’s education and health system alone would take years to resolve.

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Mwinoghe
9 months ago

Just have a second look at Chakwera picture above. Akutudzulira ndani masowo? Koma samagwa khunyu ameneyu? The guy seems terrified and afraid of his own shadow. Tell him that atleast we need Constituency Offices and NOT MP houses.

Neserare Noiz
Neserare Noiz
9 months ago

Ayi, aChilima, mukutipwetekesa. Apa nde voti tinabesadi ndithu. A creature that can not use common sense. Ashiii!

Heart
Heart
9 months ago

Ma advisor kuchuluka. Anali kuti pamene mbava zinali kutibera usiku ndi usana?

Patrick Phiri
Patrick Phiri
9 months ago

Mr. President, no amount of defending will convince Malawians about this project. Government is not going to save any money. The houses will be built in constituencies, which means the MPs will still need to travel to Lilongwe for meetings. While in Lilongwe, the MPs will still need accommodation. So where is the saving? This government is a disaster.

Hezekiya mlabani
Hezekiya mlabani
9 months ago

Very soon, Timothy mtambo and his army of vandals to destroy these MP houses.

Tuntyufe
Tuntyufe
9 months ago

Mr President I still think this particular initiative is wrong and will end up being a white elephant like the flea markets. Waste of resources. Just looking at housing priorities, teachers houses, medical staff should have been prioritised. Teachers are renting houses yet they earn less than MPs. Musatenge nazo sambi

nyarugwe
nyarugwe
9 months ago
Reply to  Tuntyufe

These will not be personal houses but government houses. They are not personal houses
houses. If MP’s can stop claiming housing/accomodation allowances, then there will be no need for building these houses. The aim is to save the 2.7 billion/term in these allowances

Nalingula
Nalingula
9 months ago

If it will save us 2.7 billion in the long term then no problem …Leaders must be able to see what others are not seeing …We are where we are today because Leaders have focused on Short Term Goals to Win the Next election ….

Lumbani
Lumbani
9 months ago
Reply to  Nalingula

if you are a business person you will agree that cashflow is very important. This money can be used elsewhere on projects that actually generate more income than 2.7 billion in 5 years. This could fix the Karonga border road. or Even start the Blantyre Lilongwe highway with a vision. to put tollbooths I agree with @Haile Selassie that housing allowance needs to be checked. Why is a person from chitipa at the same housing allowance with one from Lilongwe city.

Last edited 9 months ago by Lumbani
Mwini muzi
9 months ago

Servant Leadership under microscope. This is his value that the President must live. In this value, he should listen to the voice of reason to the many Malawians who don’t support this project as at now. Obviously servant leadership does not usually get aligned with arrogance if I may use this word in this context.

nyarugwe
nyarugwe
9 months ago
Reply to  Mwini muzi

WHICH IS THIS VOICE OF REASON? THAT MP’S YOU CONTINUE DRAWING ACCOMMODATION ALLOWANCES?

Just
Just
9 months ago
Reply to  nyarugwe

construct a hostel for them near parliament and pay them what is relevant in their constituency. In mean he Lalanje kulibe nyumba olo ya 300,000

Chilima
Chilima
9 months ago

Project iyi apange ndi Mkaka

Mwini muzi
9 months ago

The point of departure is the total cost for the construction of the houses by the investor. What is Weighted Average Cost and IRR based on the NPV? What will be the payback period based on these factors? Compare this with the K2.7billion per year over the payback period and see which option is favourable. These are the basics that Chakwera needs to let Malawians know because all the costs incurred in whatever form will still be paid by the tax payer. He mustn’t think that this information will be shelved under the carpet; Malawians will dig this and once… Read more »

Destroyer of liars
9 months ago
Reply to  Mwini muzi

@ Mwini Muzi you are spot on. That’s the only way one can determine the worthiness of his investment, using the Internal rate of return (IRR) and Net pay value (NPV). This will tell us if government plans to build these houses is really worth the amount to be spent and how long it will take for government to start realizing its benefits. These houses will be dilapidated within ten years and huge amounts will be required for mantainance.

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