RBM condemned over K43m swimming pool

Condemnations continue to pour on the Reserve Bank of Malawi (RBM) for spending almost US$250,000 (K43 million) to build a swimming pool at the Governor’s official residence in Lilongwe.

Published reports said over US$200,000 (K36 million) of this amount has already been spent on the project which is nearing completion.

Opposition UDF top official Humphrey Mvula said the development was “shocking” and described it as “obscene opulence.”

Malawi Congress Party (MCP) lawmaker Joseph Njobvuyalema said the cost figures of the swimming pool was “astronomical”.

Ligoya and his new wife: To swim in K43m pool

“This swimming pool has watered down the austerity measures that have been touted by the government,” Njobvuyalema said.

Aford MP and national chairman Enock Chihana said RBM was “insensitive” to poor tax payers to spend money for such a project during the difficult economic times in the country.

Chihana said it was “unwarranted wastefulness” which should not have occurred.

The report of the swimming pool was covered by Weekend Nation.

The paper reported that by September 30, the bank had spent K36,185, 835 on the pool.  The total cost of the pool, which is K43,479,735.29 , is enough to supply 10 district hospitals with essential drugs like antibiotics, painkillers, intravenous liquids, Pethadin, an antibiotic used to treat accident victims, pregnant mothers in pain.

In its editorial, the weekly also lashed at the central bank, saying although it is “at liberty to improve its property, spending K43 million (about $257 485) on one official’s opulence when millions of Malawians cannot even access basic drugs in hospitals is being insensible to the plight of Malawians whose taxes are funding this project.”

The paper said “with the economic turbulence at its roughest, people expect public officers to be prudent and ensure that the scanty resources are channelled to most basic needs other than unnecessary ventures that benefit individuals.”

But Ralph Tseka the bank’s spokesman, who is also a director in the Governor’s office,  defended the project as well as the money being spent on it.

He said it is “ an official residence of the Governor and not his private.”

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