NGO and Malawians welcome Matapa’s firing at Roads Authority

Centre for Mindset Change (CMC), a local non-governmental organization established to champion good governance and social justice in Malawi, has some Malawians who commended the government for firing Engineer Emmanuel Matapa at the Roads Authority (RA).

However, the NGO and disgruntled citizens, through social media, have called for a probe into allegations by some players in the construction sector that RA, under the former Chief Executive Officer Matapa, was cutting corners when awarding contracts.

Kamangira–Dismissals at Roads Authority should not end at Matapa and Msiska

On 20 February 2021, social media activist Mulotwa Mulotwa said when Matapa was at his peak, RA Board Members would hold meetings in Seychelles.

“As privileged as Mr. Tadikila Mabfuza was, still secured a job with RA and never reported – of course for a couple of days he went there to have coffee, all this happened under the eyes of Eng. Matapa. ACB has a file on this!

“Ironically, after 6 months Mr. Mabfuza got confirmed in his role for not working. Salary was being channelled to his Bankers. Words fail Mulotwa Mulotwa how to describe such conduct, in all fairness Mr.Mabfuza must restitute salaries received.

“Eng. Matapa, is in charge of roads and by extension Mota Engil, the only company on earth, capable of constructing Malawian roads! Godot, the rubble must be cleared in earnest. We waited for long,” wrote Mulotwa on his Facebook page.

A Mzuzu-based social commentator, Felix Katemula, commended the government for cracking whip on public officers deemed to be doing contrary to their laid down terms and conditions of their service.

But Katemula urged the government to also ensure that those suspected of committing crimes should be facing justice.

In a press statement issued on Sunday, CMC Executive Director Phillip Kamangira warned the government against “stopping at Matapa and Auda Msiska, as there is too much rubble in the public service.”

“CMC would like to express its gratitude to the government of Malawi for finally attending to the voice of well- minded Malawians who have for so long waited for the administration of justice on matters that concern them.

“The firing of Eng. Emmanuel Matapa, the ex-Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Roads Authority cannot go without a statement from us because we have always questioned several things from Roads Authority most of which took place during his tenure of office.

“It is the hope of CMC and, indeed right-thinking Malawians that the whip will not only stop at Eng. Matapa and Ms. Auda Msiska, but also others,” reads the statement.

Kamangira, while commending ACB for assuring to look into the issues raised in CMC letter to the Bureau where it called for investigations into road project contracts at RA, especially those that were awarded to Mota-Engil, said Malawians are much interested to know the procedures the Authority has been using to award contracts over the years.

CMC has also asked the Office of the Ombudsman and the Secretary to the Office of the President and Cabinet to look into the K6.3 fine RA has paid to Malawi Environmental Protection Authority (MEPA), arguing the already overburdened taxpayers should not allow their money to compensate for the incompetence of some public officers.

Kamangira demands that the “responsible officers must pay that from their pockets to send a strong signal to public officers who have demonstrated negligence of the highest order.”

CMC has also demanded that membership of the Board of Roads Authority be reconstituted, fearing that corruption is deep-rooted at the institution.

Kamangira argues with the court ruling that former RA Chief Executive Officer, Trevor Hiwa, has a case to answer on corruption charges, it was not his successor has also been fired on similar allegations.

“This speaks volumes of the state of affairs at Roads Authority and as CMC we are concerned. We would like the Director of Public Prosecutions to review the witnesses in this case. We have been informed by concerned employees at Roads Authority that some engineers, who according to the Commission of Enquiry are accomplices, are state witnesses and not the accused. This was done before the new DPP was appointed.

“We agree with the concerned employees that this needs serious attention because the Commission of Enquiry even recommended that these engineers must be disciplined, and nothing has happened to date,” reads the letter.

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