Rights group wants RA board reconstituted

Centre for Mindset Change (CMC) has called on President Lazarus Chakwera to reconstitute the board of Roads Authority (RA) and change the authority’s top management saying the RA is failing to handle some incompetent contractors which submit cheap bids but demand more money when the project is in progress.

CMC Executive Director Phillip Kamangirah made the statement on Monday at a press briefing on current Economic and Democratic Governance in Malawi.

Kamangirah said the organization has written letter to Office of the President and Cabinet and Ombudsman to investigate construction projects which have overshot their contract amounts with astronomic figures.

He added that there is a construction which has a tendency of increasing its budget for roads project construction.

According to Kamangira, the company comes up with cheap budget and later request for more funds as the projects is still in process, something which he said should not be tolerated.

He accused the RA board of sleeping on duty and protecting the RA management.

“The board has put a blind eye on the Audit report that recommended further investigations on the roles that the CEO and Director of construction played in projects that were given to a certain contractor.

“They have an appetite for conducting site visits which is an operational matter and not strategic. They pocket a lot of allowances for site visits yet engineers and inspectors are limited on the basis of unavailability of funds leading to poor quality of work,” he said.

The organization has given the office of the President and Cabinet 14 days to respond to the issues.

Kamangira, during the press briefing, also expressed concern over delay of some road projects including the NJakwa-Livingstonia road construction project in Rumphi district where he said 23 kilometers out of 72KM has been constructed.

He also mentioned Ruo Bridge which he said was supposed to be completed by now considering that people continue to lost their lives due to the bad state of the bridge.