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Council taken to task over District Development Fund project

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Nkhata Bay District Council Chairperson Beauty Banda and two council officials were on Friday taken to task over the transfer of resources for a teacher’s house at Valamani Community Day Secondary School (CDSS) to Pundu CDSS.

Banda, alongside the council’s Monitoring and Evaluation Officer Kondwani Ghambi and Procurement Officer Efron Nyirenda, who represented the district commissioner, were summoned to a budget tracking meeting at Pundu CDSS to respond to community concerns over the house.

“The house had indeed taken long to complete [but] this is because it was not on the list of the council’s development projects. The project was actually transferred here as a contribution to the community after Press Trust had constructed school blocks.

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“This far, the council is not satisfied with the pace and the standard of the work. We are going to look into the whole project and make sure that it meets its structural design,” Banda said.

Constructed with resources from the District Development Fund (DDF) for about K14 million, the teacher’s house is yet to be completed despite that it is already in use.

Records show that the initial house at Valamani was supposed to cost K12.7 million, but to the community’s surprise, the project remains incomplete even after the cost jumped to K14 million.

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The house was scheduled for completion at least by June 2016 but remains incomplete presently.

With funding from Tilitonse Fund, the Catholic Commission for Justice and Peace of the Mzuzu Diocese facilitated a meeting for community members and council officials after identifying the shortfalls.

Area Development Committee Chairperson John Chunda in Traditional Authority Timbiri insisted that the council should justify the missed dateline and the slow progress of the house.

Chunda demanded that council should provide the community members with original house designs.

“The iron sheets are too short and the items being used do not meet the required standard. The house lacks glasses, toilet, ceiling and wiring but money has already been spent,” Chunda lamented.

Banda responded that the money rose to K14 million following an allocation of K2 million from the K71 million DDF for the district in the 2015/16 financial year.

She has since committed to taking the matter for a council discussion and that the house would be completed by June end.

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