K400 million for soil testing? Malawi Parliament, ACB need to investigate

The level of extravagance under DPP government is not only worrying, but shows lack of seriousness in the management of public resources. How can the Ministry of Home Affairs and Internal Security spend K400 million kwacha on soil testing? Really? This is unheard of! Such an exercise does not deserve to be undertaken just as the budget of such an exercise would be a joke.

another form of cashgate

The most unfortunate part is that the Minister of Home Affairs Cecelia Chazama has defended the expenditure, saying “the expenditure is justified as it catered for both soil testing and a feasibility study.” Really? Where on earth has an institution paid such an amount just to test the soil?  And does one need a feasibility study to construct an office building? Does the minister really know what a feasibility study is and why it is undertaken? Eish!

The K400 million spent on the so-called soil testing is just a ploy by DPP politicians and their cronies to siphon off money from government coffers. It beats any reasoning how one can sanction such a staggering amount on soil testing including feasibility study. It is immoral and criminal negligence. As a construction engineer has rightly observed the “amount is way ‘exorbitant’ for soil testing”.

Parliament should carry out its own independent investigation into the matter and get to the bottom of the issue. The contractor should justify how he arrived at the cost. Otherwise he has to be requested to reimburse the money, failing which he should be taken to court. Soil testing is not work worth K400 million. Sorry! The expenditure smacks of looting of public resources. The ACB should also investigate how the contract was awarded.

It is now becoming abundantly clear that some of the projects are dubious and being used as a vehicle to empty government coffers. The tripartite elections are only 11 months away and it seems the DPP is trying all it can to raise the money by hook or by crook for campaign. A government that has the welfare of its citizens at heart cannot be spending public resources recklessly. A few weeks ago Minister of Public Works Jappie Mhango told Malawians that K63.3 million was set aside for demolishing Chakazi Bridge in Mzimba to pave the way for a new one. The tiny makeshift, one–way bridge (about 10 metres long and 4 metres wide) he was talking about was already demolished by the water and what remained of it were ruins which required to be cleaned up. Yet government set aside a whooping K63.3million for this. For what really? Can the contractor or government justify why this amount should be paid?

One really wonders how government is allowing such huge sums of money to be spent in this manner. The government is not only embarrassing itself for the wanton and reckless spending, but people’s lack of trust in government institutions has deepened.

More than half of the population of Malawi is saddled with poverty, hospitals lack drugs, schools lack basic infrastructure and yet we have a government that spends millions of kwacha as if money grows on trees. Imagine how much impact the K400 million or K63.3 million would have if it was used on a community project.  There is no prudence in the management of public funds.  One day someone will be required to account for this wasteful and unjustifiable spending. No one should complain that they are being dragged to court on political reasons. There is no basis for spending such colossal sums of money other than looting public resources.

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#DzukaniAmalawi
Guest
#DzukaniAmalawi

Lowani Mtonga, are you only realising this now. If you critically go through the expenditure budget (MKW1,545 billion) you’ll realise most allocations are dubious. DPP has created so many optical illusions with the budgets to the extent that even the opposition is unable to pinpoint potential and deliberate abuse. Most MPs have been paid to look the other way (all the MPs are beneficiaries of salary & allowance increases). It is not unthinkable to assume that 50% of the expenditure budget will go towards funding DPP and to looting by senior politicians. Joining politics is no longer about the people… Read more »

Sugzo
Guest
Sugzo

This is fake news. The funding was for preliminary works. The original budget was MK500million but Mk400 million was funded and not spent. All the activities wwre done and a balance of more than MK130million remains unspent. I believe the journalist is a novice just trying to make a name. The Hon. Minister was clear that soil testing was ONE of the activities and NOT the Only activity.

Kamuvwi
Guest
Kamuvwi

That still does not justify spending K270 million for soil testing, you sound like you are part of the racket

Chikoka
Guest
Chikoka

Suzgo, the writer has written an opinion. His opinion is based on the article I read in the Nation of 17 June, 2018 under the headline “Ministry ‘soils’ K400m”. It is also available online: https://mwnation.com/ministry-soils-k400m/. The article in the newspaper does not mentioned that the money was used for other things. The money was used for soil testing and feasibility study. You cannot blame him for writing his opinion. He has NOT written news, but an opinion piece. You can agree with him or not that is also your opinion. That is why we like reading Nyasa Times because we… Read more »

mufwa mkandawire
Guest

Cashgate has taken another shape

mufwa mkandawire
Guest

soil testing eeish!

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