There is a heavy smell in and around the regional commissioner of lands offices in the capital Lilongwe that has arisen due to lack of water for use for toilets and urinals over a whooping K1.7 million outstanding balance government, through the Ministry of Lands, is yet to square with utility body, the Lilongwe Water Board.
A visit to the office building by Nyasa Times on Tuesday, which houses over 180 employees for two different government departments – the Commissioner of Lands and the Regional Treasury Cashier –, found most employees outside and unwilling to enter their working premises because of the bad smell.
Ironically, the Treasury Cashier’s Office is under the department of the accountant general that works closely under the Ministry of Finance, Development and Economic Planning which is responsible for seeing to it that government institutions are well financed.
The employees, Nyasa Times also learnt, are heaping pressure on public toilets a stone’s throw away at Game Complex, managed by private firm Magic Clean.
Those that can afford, especially those that own vehicles, have to drive – sometimes – up to five to ten kilometers away to their homes to relieve themselves.
One of the officers, working with the department of the accountant general, said on condition of anonymity that the problem has persisted since government offices got back to work in the first week of January.
“Government has been casting a blind eye on the outstanding balances and they have piled up with time. The issue out of control now,” said the employee.
He said some toilets were literally flushed in 2016, and expressed concern that what was happening could raise health concerns.
According to him, because of the myriad issues they are getting with the new Land Bill the number of toilet users has increased making the state of everything at the complex sorrier.
Ministry of Lands public relations officer (PRO), Charles Vintulla, could not be led to comment on the matter when contacted with Nyasa Times saying “it was after working hours” before requesting for a questionnaire.
But another officer at the same office complex said “word around the premises has been that government has failed to honor the bills” for really no apparent reasons.
Meanwhile, the officers on Tuesday downed to tools saying they will only return to work only when the issue has been dealt with.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :