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Wednesday, 13 September 2017 13:54

Lack of political will stifles project

Written by  Watson Maingo

Councillor Mbewe (r)  and Councilor Chipeni

Salima, September 12, 2017: Almost a year after the Salima full council meeting resolved to build a brick security fence around the Salima District Hospital, the project is failing to commence despite the continued security problems at the health facility.

Last year a full council meeting attended by all five Members of Parliament, 10 councilors, and 10 Traditional Authorities unanimously agreed to contribute bricks for the construction of the wall.

Speaking to the Malawi News Agency (Mana) on Tuesday, Senior Chief Kalonga said since last year there has been no commitment from other council members to the project.

“All the T/As, MPs and councilors agreed to the project, but it is only us from Senior Chief Kalonga who have showed commitment by delivering bricks which unfortunately have been misused by the hospital management,” said the Senior Chief.

Senior Chief Kalonga said he is surprised that everyone has left the project to people of his area despite that the hospital serves the district.

Public Relations Officer for Salima District Hospital, Angela Nyongani confirmed that the proposal to build the security fence was indeed discussed by the council and agreed to, but nothing has happened as the bricks are not coming to the site.

“Of course, we heard that Senior Chief Kalonga mobilized bricks, but the bricks were not delivered, they are still at the community,” said Nyongani.

Nyongani said the worrisome thing is that despite lack of commitment by the leaders to start and complete the project the hospital is facing more security problems as the wire fence which used to secure the premises was vandalized long time ago.

“We face security breaches from robbers, animals and livestock and it is just difficult for our guards to police the vast area,” said Nyongani.

Vice chairperson of the council, Councilor Beatrice Mbewe said according to her, the project would start anytime soon.

“I think the project is still on, the T/As committed to bring the bricks and once the bricks come, it will start,” said the vice chairperson.

In a separate interview, Councilor Janet Chipeni of Kalonga Ward said there is little commitment from leaders.

“It’s unfortunate that we are not serious with the project despite the serious security problems at the health facility, according to my knowledge only Senior Chief Kalonga and T/A Mwanza stated that they had started mobilizing the bricks,” said Chipeni.

Councilor Chipeni said the project would be easier if the MPs shared the cost by contributing part of the Constituency Development Fund.

Member of Parliament for Salima Central, Felix Jumbe said the project is failing to start because of poor planning.

“We might have agreed on what to contribute but there was no taskforce to manage the process, as a result it lacked leadership,” said Jumbe.

Traditional Authority Maganga said it is not proper because some T/As are not committed to the project.

Executive Director of Salima Governance Network, Thomas Mwangupili said while the idea to fence the hospital is brilliant it may die a natural death due to the delay.

“If the project had succeeded Salima could have set a good example, but now my fear is that time is running out as you know this is the idea of the present leadership of the council and if it changes, we do not know if anybody will continue with it, so it is better that they finish it now,” said Mwangupili.


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