People from Phalombe district including Chiefs and Councillors have questioned authorities over the delay of some essential projects which would uplift livelihoods of some communities.
They raised these concerns during an interface meetings organized by Centre for Social Concern (CfSC) in the district on Wednesday and Thursday aimed at enhancing transparency and accountability among citizens and other stakeholders.
Among others the citizens questioned the delay of the construction of K99 million Chimenya bridge in Phalombe South Constituency and construction and rehabilitation of Phalombe Major and Sombani gravity Fed Piped water supply schemes.
Kingsley Mpulula who is a member of Migowi action group said during the meeting that it is a sad development that people have not fully benefitted from the water project despite millions of money splashed out during the construction.
“We are struggling to get good safe water, and if that water project was finished we wouldn’t be struggling like this, women walk long distances, this is sad we want answers, what happened?” asked Mpulula.
In his response, district water development officer for Phalombe, Boston Tambala, said the project was being run by the central government and not through the council.
“What I know is that Foundation for Irrigation and Sustainable Development (FISD) was the company doing the project and those from central government are the ones who were doing everything,” he said.
On the matter of Chimenya bridge, Traditional Authority Namasoko said there is something needed to be done and he wondered why the project was abandoned after Minister of transport, Ralph Jooma, launched it in 2019.
But in his response on the matter, public works officer Alick Mthini, said the council even wondered after they heard about the launch of construction of the bridge since it was never advertised anywhere.
“We just heard on the day before the said launch of the construction of the bridge, I think that was done because of political reasons, we all know that we were going towards elections then,” he said.
One of the matters which came up during the meetings was about construction of Phalombe Victim Support Unit which has stalled for about eight years on foundation level and through the meeting the task force was established to look onto the matter.
In his remarks, Programs officer for CfSC Benard Mphepo said through the meetings he has observed that politicising of developmental projects is not helping this country.
“From what has been discussed through these interface meetings it is sad to see how some of these developmental projects are being done here in Malawi, they are always politicised, this has to stop,” said Mphepo.
CfSC is implementing a project called “strengthening the capacity of citizens to demand transparency and accountability for improved public financial management to reduce poverty and inequality” in Phalombe, Mzimba, Mangochi and Zomba