President Peter Mutharika has warned ward councillors who corruptly award contracts to some local companies that come up with substandard output, especially in road construction projects.
He said his administration will not tolerate the malpractice and vowed to investigate the contracts.
The President, who spoke at the opening of the Malawi International Trade Fair in Blantyre yesterday, said the councillors are derailing progress of developmental projects his Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) administration is implementing.
Said Mutharika: “There are corrupt councillors who are awarding contracts in the country to some companies based on their own personal interests. These companies are not capable enough to undertake some projects and they end up coming up with substandard road projects. Mind you, this is public money! You will be investigated!”
While boasting about the successes that his administration has registered during its first three years in office dating back to May 20 2014, the President further claimed that his administration managed to construct seven major roads during his three-year stint in power.
In a veiled attack on the 30 years of Malawi Congress Party (MCP) one-party administration from 1964 to 1994, Mutharika said “some regimes failed to come up with tangible roads to benefit the country after 31 years”.
However, for the record, the MCP administration under founding president Hastings Kamuzu Banda constructed most of the key roads still in use in the country, including the Lakeshore Road, the M1 Road stretching from Nsanje to Songwe Border in Karonga, the Limbe-Thyolo-Mulanje-Muloza Road, the Kacheche-Chiweta Road stretch of M1 Road, Lilongwe-Mchinji Road, Kamwendo-Santhe-Kasungu Road, Lilongwe-Salima Road, Blantyre-Mwanza Road and several infrastructure projects still in use.
Kamuzu and MCP also moved the country’s Capital City to Lilongwe where it was built from a scratch besides establishing the University of Malawi.
Mutharika’s attack of poor road works came barely a day after Consumers Association of Malawi (Cama) executive director John Kapito called on the Roads Authority (RA) to properly scrutinise contractors before awarding them projects to ensure they do quality work.
He placed much emphasis on some roads which were constructed or rehabilitated last year, including the Makata Road, Illovo-Midima roundabout, Chimwankhunda and Nyambadwe which have started developing potholes or have completely been worn out, in turn giving problems to motorists.
In Lilongwe and Mzuzu cities, there have also been reports of tarmac on newly-upgraded roads peeling off. n