Opposition parties have faulted government for delayed completion of some projects which they alleged continue to get funding for over a decade.
The opposition leaders, who included Lazarus Chakwera (Malawi Congress Party-MCP), Sam Mpasu (New Labour Party), Mark Katsonga (Progressive People’s Movement-PPM) and George Nnensa (Malawi Forum for Unity and Development-Mafunde), told journalists in Lilongwe on Thursday that the delay to complete the projects was a deliberate ploy by the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) administration to defraud taxpayers money.
But official government spokesperson Nicholas Dausi, who is also Minister of Information and Communications Technology, dismissed suggestions that the projects were being used to siphon money from public coffers, saying infrastructure projects take time to complete because of technicalities.
In their 12–paged presentation which they took turns to read out, the leaders outlined 20 projects that have stagnated despite Parliament allocating funding year-in and year-out.
The opposition leaders mentioned the Liwonde to Nsanama Road which they said has stalled for 10 years, the Zomba-Jali-Phalombe-Chitakale Road, the Blantyre Police Station project which started 15 years ago and this year got K500 million but construction is yet to start and the idle Nsanje World Inland Port.
Reads the report in part: “Rampant corruption, theft, waste and embezzlement of public funds and resources at the highest levels of government has destroyed the developmental impact of all these massive investments. It is a cost which is borne by the tax-payer.”
But Dausi said it was not fair to allege that the projects were being used to defraud the public. He challenged those with information to that effect to report to agencies such as the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB).
In his remarks, Chakwera mentioned the 650 metres dual carriage way from Illovo Sugar roundabout to Midima roundabout in Limbe which has cost government double the amount due to delays. n