Malawi gov’t builders bitter with VP Kachale over allowances

Builders in the building department under the Ministry of Lands and Housing are bitter with the Vice President  Khumbo Kachale and his office for not paying them their allowances when they pitch his podium every time he has a public function.

Several builders from all the three regions corroborated the information and said they are reduced to beggars when they go to the field to build the VPs podium when he has a public meeting.

“Whenever the president or the vice president has a public meeting, we go three days earlier to mount the podium and we are supposed to get a daily allowance of K6,000. The office of the president gives us the allowances but we have problems with the office of the vice president. Since he became VP and started holding public functions we have been fixing his podium but without allowances despite being in the field for three days per trip,” one builder said.

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He added:” Since June 2012 all builders who are deployed to mount the VP’s podium have never received an allowance. We complained to our director, Mr Chiudzu and other bosses but nothing is done. They seem to be helpless since the matter involves politicians.”

Another builder said payment of such  allowances are paid through the office of the VP or the president and not the mother ministry.

The builder said: “The VP office owes us millions of Kwacha. We wonder where the money goes. When we go out there, we borrow money for accommodation and food. Friends are tired of lending us money because we are failing to pay back with interests.”

Another builder said as civil servants they could not boycott because the matter involves the high office.

“We follow the football principle that says play first and complain later. But we are suffering,” he said.

The builders formed a task force to engage authorities but nothing is coming out.

Director of Buildings Hastings Chiudzu refused to comment on the matter.

But when the probe was known by authorities, representatives of the builders were called and questioned about possible leakage of the issue to the media.

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