Government spokesperson and Minister of Information, Communications and Technology Nicholas Dausi has dismisses suggestions that the delayed completion of some projects were being used to siphon money from public coffers claimed by the opposition.
Nyasa Times reported on Friday September 29 2017 that opposition parties told journalists in Lilongwe that the delay to complete the projects was a deliberate ploy by the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) administration to defraud taxpayers money.
The opposition leaders, who included Lazarus Chakwera (Malawi Congress Party-MCP), Sam Mpasu (New Labour Party), Mark Katsonga (Progressive People’s Movement-PPM) and George Nnensa (Malawi Forum for Unity and Development-Mafunde), in their 12–paged presentation which they took turns to read out, outlined 20 projects that have stagnated despite Parliament allocating funding year-in and year-out.
They mentioned the Liwonde to Nsanama Road which they said has stalled for 10 years, the Zomba-Jali-Phalombe-Chitakale Road, the Blantyre Police Station project which started 15 years ago and this year got K500 million but construction is yet to start .
The leaders also mentioned he idle Nsanje World Inland Port, saying the project was started, completed and officially opened at a cost of MK4 billion over 7 years ago.
“ It remains unused and is a monument to needless waste. We are today asking this Government to explain this,” said Chakwera
“Rampant corruption, theft, waste and embezzlement of public funds and resources at the highest levels of government has destroyed the developmental impact of all these massive investments. It is a cost which is borne by the tax-payer,” the leaders statement said.
“It is massive amounts of money going down the drain. Many of the roads were abandoned and the money disappeared into private pockets. Road contractors openly talk of budgeting for bribes to government officials and giving 10% to the ruling party.”
Chakwera mentioned the 650 metres dual carriage way from Illovo Sugar roundabout to Midima roundabout in Limbe which has cost government double the amount due to delays.
“The dual carriage way had stalled when contract price escalated to around twice the original price due to implementation delay and change of designs. The project has been handed over to Fargo, the initial contractor for a contract price of K400 million. The strange thing is that President Peter Mutharika uses this stretch of road every time he drives to his home. No one cares and he does not care either,” said Chakwera.
But reacting to the statement, Dausi said infrastructure projects take time to complete because of technicalities.
“It is mere political tantrums from the opposition and should be dismissed with contempt it deserves,” said Dausi.
Dausi said it was not fair to allege that the projects were being used to defraud the public.
“This is politics of inertia by Chakwera, mere political tantrums,” said Dausi.
He asserted: “The statement by the opposition are fallacious, erroneous, wrong and merely political rhetoric and spurious .”
Dausi said Chakwera, as leader of Opposition, should appreciate various initiatives government has employed to tackle corruption, hunger, water and electricity problems.
He challenged those with information to that effect to report to agencies such as the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB).
Meanwhile, MCP deputy secretary general Eisenhower Mkaka has attacked the “morally bankrupt” arguments by Dausi.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :