Provision of health services have been suspended at Mahowe Health Centre in Chitipa following the closure of the facility by the family of late former Speaker of Parliament, Rodwell Mnyenyembe over disagreement between the family and Chitipa District Council on the building’s rentals.
In September, 2017 daughter to late Mnyenyembe, who is also current councilor for Mahowe Ward, Towela Mnyenyembe offered the council their residential house to be used as a health Centre on agreement that the council would be paying K200, 000 per month using the Constituency Development Fund (CDF).
However, almost four years down the line, the council has never paid any amount towards the rentals, a development that has forced the family to shut down the facility.
Speaking during a telephone interview Tuesday, Councilor Mnyenyembe said Chitipa District Council owns her family outstanding rentals amounting to K7.5 million.
‘‘The council together with Member of Parliament, Welani Chilenga for Chitipa agreed to be paying us K200,000 per month from CDF, but up to now they have never paid us any amount, as such, we have decided to close the building,’’ said Mnyenyembe.
Confirming the development in a separate interview, In – charge for Mahowe health centre, Mike Mughogho said that currently they are sending patients to Nthalire Rural Health Centre, a distance of close to 45 Kilometers.
However, Mnyenyembe referred us to Chitipa District Council for more details over the development.
When asked to comment, District Commissioner (DC) for Chitipa, Humphreys Gondwe expressed surprise over the development, saying that there was no agreement over house rentals between the council and the Mnyenyembe family.
‘‘What we know is that the Mnyenyembe family supported the community in Mahowe with a house to be used as health Centre for free,’’ said Gondwe.
Gondwe added that currently they have transferred hospital equipment to a Community Based Child Care Centre (CBCC) where some operations will be taking place.