Malawi Military Hopsital still a pipedream – Goodall

The much-touted  modern military hospital at the Malawi Defence Force (MDF) headquarters, Kamuzu Barracks  in Lilongwe  continues to remain a pipe dream as Finance Minister Goodall Gondwe said government is having negotiations before including the project in the next budget.

Gondwe: Discussions underway

President Peter Mutharika is on record saying the  construction of the military will start this year and further said that facility  will be equiped with an air ambulance.

Speaking in Parliament as the lawmakers  approved provision of K5,640,905,291 on–Ministry of Defence  revised budget to K1,759,455,877  the Minister of Finance, Economic Planning and Development said the allocation of the military hospital will be reflected in the next budget all things being equal.

“I was going to save the military hospital for later, probably for the next budget. We are requiring that the contractor that is going to build the hospital should find appropriate resources to which we are going to borrow ourselves, but it must be within our requirement; and that is very low interest rate and so forth,” Gondwe said.

He was responding to a question from a legislator why the military hospital funding was not reflecting in the revised budget.

Gondwe  added: “ I think the next time you will find that we will come to you with a special paper on the military hospital asking that you approve our views on how that military hospital ought to be built. “

He told the House: “We would like to say that the discussions with a number of contractors is under way and we think that by the time we come back here we will have some tangible results, if I may say so.”

Gondwe said “negotiations were pending” relating to the military hospital project.

Construction of a hospital at the Kamuzu Barracks was one of the recommendations by the Commission of Inquiry into circumstances of the death of late President Bingu wa Mutharika in April of 2012.

Among others, the Justice Elton Singini inquiry observed that, referring a whole Head of State to a public hospital- as was the case with late Bingu wa Mutharika- compromised the president’s security and privacy.

Therefore, the Commission recommended that: “Government needs to construct or establish a presidential medical facility at the headquarters of the Malawi Defence Force in Lilongwe which is the seat of Government where the President regularly resides.”

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The army has the engineering department and it would be cost effective if government use the mdf in the construction.

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