Paramount Chief Kyungu of Karonga and Chitipa has accused Karonga District Council of implementing for sub-standard projects, under the Public Works Program (PWP), accusing council officials of corruption.
The Chief made the accusation on Wednesday at a full council briefing on the upcoming Enhanced Public Works Program pilot phase (EPWP).
He alleged that the council fails to report on activities surrounding PWP implementation to other stakeholders such as chiefs because it is corrupt.
“I wonder when people say there are corrupt practices at central government; I am saying councils across the country are more corrupt. We cannot end corruption if we don’t deal with corruption at council level,” he said.
He however, hinted that Karonga was the worst in the malpractice.
“When we go to other districts, you see several developments taking place but here in Karonga there is nothing you can show.
“People are even failing to own the projects because they are not properly guided by the council,” he said.
Karonga District Commissioner, Richard Hara, said the council has public works and a financial committee where it reports all issues related to public works projects.
“I don’t know what people are looking for. When I came here I was told that the council was rotten, but now I am optimistic that we have made strides in bringing sanity in the council and we have a lot to show off,” he said.
However, recently, National Local Government Finance Committee budget director, Yohane Nyanja, called on Traditional Authorities (T/As) to take ownership of projects, amid poor results in implementation of PWP in Chitipa.
“Our evaluation shows that the main reason for the project’s failure is because our communities do not assume ownership of the assets these projects create,” said Nyanja during a full council meeting in Chitipa.
On his part, Karonga District Council Chairperson, Harry Mwanyembe, attributed poor results of some projects to bad timing.
Mwanyembe noted that in most cases, public works projects start in December when rains have already started, which he said results in poor quality roads and bridges.
Public works projects have been implemented under Malawi Social Action Fund (MASAF) since 1995 and targets the poor who are able to work.
The Upcoming Enhanced Public Works Program pilot phase program, will be implemented in a few selected districts in the country including Karonga and Chitipa in the north.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :