The Consumer Association of Malawi (CAMA) has expressed concerns regarding the alleged abuse of K12 billion under the Malawi Rural Electrification Program (MAREP) which the organization says is due lack of transparency and accountability.
CAMA Executive Director John Kapito said the program has been running for a long time and despite the huge sums of money being collected there has been very little to show for as the program is shrouded with high levels of corruption.
Kapito added that there has been no attempt by Government to explain or inform the taxpayers or consumers how these funds over the years have been used and how many Consumers have benefited from the electricity connections.
“The huge sums of money collected under this Program (MAREP) have been abused through the award of dubious contracts to non performing contractors and poor quality of workmanship, and over the years MAREP contracts are awarded to those that are politically connected with the ruling party and the quality of workmanship under this program has been substandard and despite the huge amount of money being wasted under this program and yet still a large number of Malawians are not connected to electricity,” he explained.
He then appealed to Members of Parliament to review the Malawi Rural Electrification Program (MAREP) Act and ensure it operates as a well regulated independent entity.
He also asked authorities in Governments to ensure that MAREP must have a timeframe under which it can continue operating and collecting taxes from Consumers as it has now outlived its objectives.
“We are also appealing to Parliament to provide Consumers with an update on how much has been generated under this tax and its impact or achievements over the years since it was established, how many people have benefited or been connected to electricity under this program since Malawi still remains one of the countries in SADC with the lowest number of people connected to electricity,” further said.
He added that consumers have an obligation to pay taxes but they are also demanding Government to be transparent and accountable to motivate Consumers in paying taxes.
Kapito went on to say that it is unfortunate that most times public money like those under MAREP are abused through corruption and not benefiting the taxpayers.
Published reports indicate that businesses belonging to politicians and people connected to the Tonse Alliance shared K12 billion .
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