The Roads Fund Administration (RFA) has suspended payment for all road maintenance programmes managed by the Lilongwe City Council (LCC) following the council’s failure to ensure quality standards of the roads under construction.
RFA public relations officer Masuko Mngwaluko said in an interview yesterday that payments will only be made after the council addresses the issue of quality.
He said: “Indeed, some of the road rehabilitation works are of poor quality and as such the RFA has suspended payments for the road works in Lilongwe until the Lilongwe City Council addresses the issues of quality.”
Mngwaluko said that further payments will be made based on an independent assurance by a consultant engaged by RFA.
RFA allocated K2.7 billion to the council in the current financial year ending on June 30 for special city roads rehabilitation programme.
When contacted for their reaction, both LCC chief executive officer Moza Zeleza and mayor Desmond Bikoko said they were not aware of the issue; hence, asked for time to consult their offices.
Said the mayor: “I am hearing it from you and my office hasn’t informed me on this. Thus, I can’t comment on the issue until I know what is there.”
The council is also under fire after the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development which is opening a disciplinary hearing against the council following reports of gross negligence in the roads rehabilitation programme.
In a letter signed by Secretary for Local Government and Rural Development Kiswell Dakamau, the council has been faulted on the progress reports of the rehabilitation works.
In the current financial year, RFA allocated the following amounts of money for special city roads rehabilitation programme: LCC K2.7 billion, Blantyre City Council K2.7 billion, Mzuzu City Council K1.5 billion and Zomba City Council K1.5 billion. n