Minister of Gender, Children, Disability and Social Welfare, Patricia Kaliati has said officials in her ministry are failing to utilize K130 million they received this year for various projects due to incompetence.
Outspoken Kaliati has since issued a one-month ultimatum to the Malawi Council for the Handicapped (Macoha) and the Department of Disability to ensure that Kamuzu Vocational Rehabilitation and Training Centre in Chiradzulu is fully operational.
The Minister issued the order when she graced presentation of certificates to 43 disabled students at the college.
The students received the certificates after completing studies in tailoring, carpentry and joinery, refrigeration, secretarial studies, metal and wood work, domestic skills and agriculture.
Kaliati wondered why the institution is not fully operational when the disability sector has overwhelming support from developing partners, such as World Bank, UNFPA and the International Labour Organisation (ILO).
Initially, Kaliati issued the ultimatum after noting that the institution has just graduated about 3,170 students instead of 6,720.
However, Macoha Acting Executive Director Peter Ngomwa cited underfunding as one of the challenges preventing them to train more students.
According to him, previously the college was having two intakes with 224 entrants per year but its no longer the case due underfunding.
“In fact, we are hearing today that funds are available. We will pressurise the ministry to release them for the purpose of training and resettlement of graduates from the centre,” said Ngomwa.