Phalombe South Constituency Member of Parliament (MP) Mary Mpanga has angered constituents after drilling at her house a borehole meant for the community.
The governing Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) legislator is drilling a borehole at her house despite community members – who walk over 3 kilometres daily fetching for potable water in nearby villages – choosing another spot for the borehole.
According to Group Village Headwoman Mphale of the area, they all know that the said borehole is one of the boreholes which the area was supposed to benefit this year from government as it is increasing peoples’ access to potable water.
“I asked the MP if the borehole she is drilling at her house is meant for the community or for her own, because if it was meant for community that wouldn’t be the place, our Village Development Committee (VDC) selected potential places where it would be drilled.
“Though I asked her these she never gave me tangible answers. Even our councillor told us that she is not the one who will pay this contractor who is drilling this borehole but the council will,” said the chief.
Area Development Committee (ADC) chairperson Wilson Matenda in an interview disclosed that Mpanga told the chief that the borehole indeed was meant for people around her area.
“Firstly, let me confirm that indeed I’ve signed the letter. We aren’t saying she’s wrong but this is not what we discussed, the place where she is drilling the borehole is totally different from what we chose.
“We asked GVH Mphale to ask the MP if the borehole is the one which the water department said will be drilled at the place we chose and she indeed confirmed that it is the one and that’s what has prompted us to write the DC,” said Matenda.
Mpasa Ward Councillor Damson Chiphaka who has also signed the letter said people around the area are angry with what the ruling party MP has done as she she is using her powers wrongly.
“I am also wondering why she has decided to do such a thing, you can see that she has used powers which she has by drilling the borehole at her residence instead of a place which the members of the community agreed, so you know the powers she has, who am I before her?
“Chiefs, VDC members and committee which was instituted to look on all matters when the project of borehole would start summoned me at Senior Chief Kaduya’s place asking if I know anything about the borehole where I told them that I know nothing,” he told Malawi24.
When asked to comment on the matter, the DPP legislator Mpanga admitted that indeed the borehole is being drilled using taxpayers’ money and she said that she also has a right to access to good water considering that she also pays tax to the Malawi Government.
“I’m also a taxpayer therefore I am also required to have access to good water and it is not on for me to be walking over 1 kilometre fetching for water, Those people have got a hidden agenda” claimed Mpanga in a telephone interview on Wednesday afternoon.
She concluded by disclosing that the borehole which she has drilled at her residence will cost her constituents the sum of Mk2.8 million out of Mk15 million which Parliament allocated to each constituency for boreholes.
Meanwhile, the constituents through Senior Chief Kaduya have written Phalombe District Commissioner (DC) Memory Kaleso asking her not to authorise payment to the contractor for the drilling of the borehole.
In a letter that Malawi24 has seen signed by five people including Senior Chief Kaduya, Area Development Committee (ADC) chairperson Wilson Matenda and Nalingula VDC chairperson Erick Masanza, the constituents say they already have a place meant for the borehole not at the doorstep of the house of Mpanga.
Meanwhile, Phalombe DC is yet to comment on whether she will not authorise payment for the borehole as asked by the constituents.