Parliament bemoans abandoned structures in rural areas

The parliamentary committee on Budget and Finance has expressed worry over some government abandoned projects owing to lack of commitment by contractors saying it is derailing development in the country.

Kajawa: Waste of resources

Member of Parliament (MP) for Lilongwe Mpenu Nkhoma, Collins Kajawa who is a member of the committee said it was heartbreaking to see most buildings especially rural growth centers that were meant to be in use and help people, have been abandoned due to contractual misunderstandings between government and contractors.

He said this referring to Nambuma market and bus depot that J&J Construction Company abandoned some four years ago as the contractor demanded government to revise money being paid putting into consideration issues of inflation after the first contractor was told to stop.

“It is so surprising a 2006 project hasn’t been completed which is a waste of government resources,” said Kajawa.

He said all the stakeholders involved were to blame noting it was high time government sorted out the matter so that the buildings should be completed for people to start using them.

Kajawa asked the ministry to commit itself and make sure that the buildings are completed and handed over to the community for use as soon as possible.

He said the cries of the people are genuine and that they deserve to use the facilities while in good condition.

Responding to the issue, District Commissioner for Dowa, Alex Mdoko said the council is aware of the progress of the projects but said the issue was left to the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development to sort out the contractual issues so that the contractor should be re-engaged to finish the work.

“There were some misunderstandings with the first contractor. After engaging J&J he requested that the contract be revised looking into issues of inflation. The matter was taken to Ministry of Lands.

“We accept that the processes have delayed the project and denied people of Nambuma access to the facilities. We know this is a cost on government because the buildings are dilapidated and will need maintenance,” said Mdoko.

He however, said the work is underway to make sure that all processes are given the necessary attention and allow the contractor to start work as soon as possible.

Director in the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development, Charles Kalemba said the ministry is aware of the hiccups and was quick to say the ministry is addressing them.

“We admit that things went wrong and that caused the contractor to abandon the project but the ministry followed up the issue and I can assure the people surrounding the area that soon the project will be completed,” said Kalemba.

Kalemba said the concerns are in order because rural growth centers are meant to give equal opportunities for business and economic growth, something that will also help arrest the issue of rural-urban migration.

“The facilities will assist the people to make sure that they are able to get the economic opportunities which people in town are also being availed with so that opportunities are balanced,” he said.

Government is constructing rural growth centers to ease challenges faced in the health sector, education, and others so as to improve the social and economic life of the people.

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