27 April 2018
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Wednesday, 13 December 2017 14:35

Complete the projects or leave, Phalombe councilors tell secretariat

Written by  Sam Majamanda
Construction works at a project site underway in Phalombe - File Photo Construction works at a project site underway in Phalombe - File Photo

Phalombe, December 13, 2017: Tension has mounted on Phalombe District Council secretariat as councilors in the district are challenging it to complete development projects or face eviction.

Councilors told the media they were dismayed at the delay in implementing projects under Constituency Development Funds (CDF) and District Development Fund (DDF) despite funds amounting to over K100 million being available for the projects in the council’s bank accounts.

According to Chairperson for Finance Service Committee of the Council, Councilor Damson Chiphaka, the council was failing to provide them with reasons for delay usage of the money for completing the projects.

“We had a meeting on Monday. We wanted to chase them from the district the same day because we were convinced that they had failed to do their jobs, however after pleading with us at length, we gave them an ultimatum to complete all the projects by the end of January or face protests and eviction,” said Chiphaka.

Malawi News Agency has seen an invitation letter to a meeting held on the aforementioned day (Monday) which indicates that the raised accusations and others were at the centre of discussions.

“Another issue that raised questions was the remaining construction materials for teachers’ houses and school blocks that were constructed recently.

“There were a lot of left over materials such as doors, door frames and iron sheets, this raised concerns on how procurement was done,” Chiphaka added.

Commenting on the matter, Director of Planning and Development for Phalombe, Morson Magombo, confirmed having attended the meeting which he said started well but turned emotional.

Magombo said the main problem that caused delays in putting the money to use was the vacancy in the Director of Public Works’ office which is responsible for providing direction on the development of Bill of Quantities at the district council.

“Without the Director of Public Works we could not produce BOQs [bills of quantities], and without that office’s expertise we cannot be sure about the durability of a project that we are undertaking,” Magombo said.

He further made commitment the secretariat would complete all the projects as demanded by the councilors within the period they were given.
 

Meanwhile, the district council secretariat is making speed on the promises as evidenced by the quick mobilization of materials to project sites for construction work to begin.

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