Communities in Karonga have given government three months to explain how a contractor abandoned the construction of K109 million maternity wing and an outpatient wing at Mpata Health Centre in 2012.
On August 28 2012, Ministry of Health officials held a ground-breaking ceremony at Mpata and deployed the contractor the following month.
However, Ziuya Constructions abandoned the project at foundation level three months later.
Now, the locals, through lawyer Wesley Mwafulirwa, have written Attorney General Chikosa Silungwe to demand answers for suspected fraud, gross breach of contract and violation of right to life.
The letter reads: “The facility has hitherto become a death trap. Despite serving over a hundred thousand people, due to lack of enough bed space, several people have died at the centre. Fundamental rights under the Constitution have been grossly violated.”
The community demand to know full particulars of the contractor and “any connections with the politicians who might have abused funds meant for the project”.
Government has up to January 23 to provide the required contract details or face litigation for breach of trust.
The locals want the court to order the government to pay damage for aiding violation of fundamental rights.
In 2017, our sister newspaper Nation on Sunday exposed the ‘K109 million Mpata Question’, which contradicts Universal Health Coverage, a government policy to ensure everyone gets quality healthcare without hardship.
The government said the Health Sector Joint Fund (HSJF) would finance reconstruction of Mpata and six other health centre projects that stalled due to Cashgate.
On Tuesday, Ministry of Health spokesperson Joshua Malango said HSJF projects are being implemented in phases.