Decent and Housing Subsidy Programme (DAHSP) regional coordinator for North, Aaron Mbubzi has expressed dissatisfaction over loan repayment for the programme, popularly known as Malata and Cement Subsidy.
He said out of seven administrative districts in the region, Karonga is the only district doing well in the repayment process, with over 50 per cent of the money collected.
Mbudzi said while Likoma has paid less than one percent of the loan, Mzimba South, Mzimba North, Rumphi, Nkhata Bay and Chitipa, have not paid even a single penny.
The Programme started in 2014 with a loan repayment period of five years and has so far registered a total of 4, 639 beneficiaries in the northern region.
Mbubzi said each beneficiary was at liberty to acquire a maximum of K450 000 worth materials which included cement, iron sheets and roofing nails, out of which they were asked to repay half of the cost.
“Mind you the beneficiary can acquire materials amounting to even less than the set maximum of K450 000. It all depends on needs of his project, but they are limited to 30 bags of cement, 30 iron sheets and 4kg roofing nails,” he said.
The Coordinator attributed the repayment challenge to misinformation that materials received under the programme were free.
“This kind of misinformation has set us back in a way that we have problems to convince beneficiaries against whatever they heard out there that the program is for free. I would like say Karonga where we have registered some substantial progress in terms of repayment unlike the other districts where they have not paid even a single penny,” he added.
Mbudzi noted that, “Likoma has paid a certain amount but it is less than one percent of what we are supposed to have collected by now.”
Mzimba District Housing Officer, James Kauteka, said his office is tabulating details about beneficiaries that are supposed to repay the loan an exercise former officer did not do.
“For phase one and two, the former district housing officer did not list down details for many beneficiaries as to how much they are supposed to pay, so that is what I am doing,” he said.
Chitipa and Karonga have 725 beneficiaries respectively, Rumphi 535, Mzimba South 1454, Mzimba North and Likoma respectively and Nkhata Bay 900.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :