Weeks after indicating that the Malawi Government will fully fund construction of Mzuzu Youth Centre (MYC), Capital Hill has changed tune, stating that the project will still be funded by the Chinese Government as earlier promised.
In a recent interview after Mzuzu-based Youth and Society (YAS) gave government seven days to provide details on the project, Ministry of Labour, Youth, Sports and Manpower Development Principal Secretary Joseph Mwandidya stated that Beijing would no longer fund the project and that Lilongwe would now take full charge.
But speaking during a political rally at Mchengautuwa Primary School ground in Mzuzu on Saturday, Minister of Finance, Economic Planning and Development Goodall Gondwe contradicted Mwandidya, stating that China will still fund the project.
The contradictions have angered YAS executive director Charles Kajoloweka who said he believes Gondwe and the entire Malawi Government were taking youths for granted.
Gondwe attributed delays in the project to the Chinese government, saying, Lilongwe could, however, not have pushed Beijing to expedite construction of the centre.
The project, launched in 2008 ahead of the 2009 general election campaign under former president the late Bingu wa Mutharika, has so far witnessed two ground-breaking ceremonies under the current Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) administration with the pledge to start construction “soon”.
Capital Hill has since the 2010/11 fiscal year allocated and spent over K300 million on the project, but with nothing to show on the ground. For a decade, over K500 million has been allocated to the project.
After the Peter Mutharika administration was ushered into power in 2014, a further K200 million was allocated and part of the funds were used for the groundbreaking ceremony presided over by Chiumia. n