Health minister Peter Kumpalume had tough time in parliament when opposition legislatures from the north and centre took him to task over failure by government to start construction of Phalombe District Hospital.
“Is Phalombe district in Malawi?” asked Rumphi east MP Kamlepo Kalua rhetorically.
He pressed the calm and composed Kumpalume to explain how the government used last year’s K1.8 billion when there was nothing on the ground not even foundation.
Kalua also asked the government how it intends to use the K4 billion for the hospital.
Joining Kalua was Dedza east MP Juliana Lunguzi, who implored the government to construct the hospital this year, saying the situation on the ground was dire.
Members of parliament from Phalombe who all sit on ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) bench did not make any contribution and conspicuously looked unconcerned.
Kumpalume told the House that the money which was allocated to the hospital last year was used to pay consultants because the norm is that the government could not make tenders for the construction before consultants did their job.
The minister who brought in lighter moments in his responses to calm the otherwise heated atmosphere said the K4 billion which the government has set aside was a contribution as much of the money will come from donors.
Kumpalume said the delay is as a result of the donors decision to refloat tenders but assured the people of Phalombe that the construction would start as soon as a new contractor is identified.