Youth activists in Mzuzu have described as shoddy a decision by Mzuzu City legislator Leornard Njikho of re-allocating funds that were meant for the rehabilitation of the Msongwe and Zolozolo Health Centres under the Constituency Development Fund (CDF).
The activists – Nyozomo Gondwe (Ex-Mzuni Student Union President), Charles Kajoloweka (Executive Director, Youth and Society), Tiyane Nyirenda (African Enterprise Mission) and Mandewa Lungu (Social Commentator), speaking on a programme aired live on the Voice of Livingstonia (VoL), took their turns lambasting Njikho for the move saying the act was unfortunate in Malawi’s present democratic dispensation.
According to information gathered by Nyasa Times, about K4 million was allocated towards the renovation of dilapidated Zolozolo and Msongwe Health Centres but a decision – after a brief meeting between Njikho and Mzuzu Mayor His Worship Mkandawire – was reached that the money go towards the roofing of a primary school in Mchengautuba which had been damaged by a storm early this month.
“The Mchengautuba incident was a disaster and as such was supposed to be treated as such,” said Kajoloweka. “It would have been covered up by the Disaster and Preparedness package.”
In Malawi, about half of the money allocated for projects is diverted or misappropriated altogether, a study published by independent non-governmental watch dog revealed recently.
“That’s why we need a proper structure in place that will not only monitor our MP [Njikho], but also all other MPs in the country,” opined Gondwe. “With that, MPs in the country will no longer regard constituencies as personal estates.”
According to Gondwe, MPs in the country must learn to develop self fiscal discipline.
“They are the ones that plunder resources at a national level when appointed to ministerial positions,” he said.
Njikho could not answer his mobile phone several times his number was called.
Also in attendance at the panel discussion, funded by the National Democratic Institute (NDI), was Dan Msowoya – former Alliance for Democracy (Aford) – who urged parliamentarians in the country to forget politics and focus on providing meaningful insights that can help towards developing the nation.