Taxpayers risk losing money to fraud following an allegation that some suppliers in the K7 billion Decent and Affordable Housing Subsidy Programme (Dahsp) cheat government by delivering sub-standard materials with wrong specifications.
Minister of Lands, Housing and Urban Development Symon Vuwa-Kaunda said this in Mzimba on Friday when he inspected the programme’s progress.
During the tour, it transpired that suppliers in the district had delivered sub-standard iron sheets and timber with wrong specifications.
In an interview, Kaunda said the problem is registered across the country such that government has put in place an audit exercise to establish the gravity of the problem before payment is made.
“For example, at a warehouse we visited, some suppliers were requested to supply timber of two by six but they supplied timber of two by two which is a wrong specification,” he said.
Mzimba district housing officer James Kauteka said the sub-standard materials have also affected the quality of houses.
“The quality of materials determines the quality of houses. Since the materials are not of good quality, some of the houses are also not up-to-date,” he said.
One of the beneficiaries, Stellah Chisi, said the programme has helped her upgrade her leaking grass-thatched house.
Government has set aside K10 billion for the programme in the 2019/20 budget, an increase from K7 billion. Dahsp was introduced in the 2015/16 financial year to meet Malawians’ housing needs.