The Decent and Affordable Housing Subsidy Programme (Dahsp), popularly known as Malata and Cement Subsidy programme should be reorganised as opposition members of Parliament (MPs) argue that it is a corruption scheme and that procurement processes should better be decentralised.
The MPs were discussing the joint report on the programme by Parliamentary committees on Government Assurances and Public Service Reforms, and Transport and Public Works.
Mzimba North MP Agnes Nyalonje (People’s Party-PP) argued that the findings in the report point towards the fact that the building of a house should be an individual plan and not that of the government.
“We are wasting money on this programme which has clearly failed to achieve what is apparently intended to achieve,” she said.
Nyalonje said the programme should be stopped and “use that money for other developments other than this programme.”
She said the whole procurement and identification of beneficiaries leaves a lot to be desired.
“Dahsp is an unfortunate programme that could not have been in the first place, this programme is wrong, the money could have been used for other equally important things,” said Nyalonje.
United Democratic Front (UDF) MP for Balaka Central East Aufi Mpaweni and Malawi Congress Party (MCP) MP for Dowa East Richard Chimwendo Banda suggested that the procurement system should be improved by decentralising to avoid mis-procurement.
Nkhotakota South East MP (MCP), Elson Makowa Mwale, said the programme is “riddled with corruption”.
He said: “32 gauge iron sheets are being supplied even though documents indicate that they are 28-gauge. The money being spend on the programme is money going down the drain.”
Minister of Lands, Housing and Urban Development Anna Kachikho insisted the programme is benefitting people, saying it was unfortunate thatr some MPs were against the programme yet they supported similar initiative during the Joyce Banda administration called Mudzi Transformation programme.
“People are building houses in the villages under this programme to live decent lives,” said Kachikho.
President Peter Mutharika is on record to have decreed that the Dahsp will not end as long as he is the Head of State.
Under the programme, government is targeting 15 440 beneficiaries of which 965 beneficiaries are on the grant component comprising vulnerable households (child-headed, elderly and people with disabilities) while the rest being under the subsidy component.
But critics have said queried the program’s, saying its costs do not make economic sense.
Dahsp comes in two forms. The other the one people take loans to buy the materials on their own.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :