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Govt lied on K64m expenditure

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Minister of Information, Nicholas Dausi, did not tell the truth when he said the government wanted to use K64 million to refurbish the whole Office of the President and Cabinet (OPC) Complex at Capital Hill and not to just buy furniture for the office of the Chief Secretary.
Dausi also gave wrong information that OPC had not been refurbished since 1975.
In a statement released on Wednesday, Dausi announced the suspension of the purchase of furniture for Chief Secretary Llyod Muhara’s office, four days after Malawi News exposed the opulence that Muhara wanted to indulge in.
Embarrassed with the opulence at OPC, Dausi jumped in and ended up lying that the K64 million was meant to refurbish the OPC complex building by replacing old carpets, ceiling boards, painting the walls and installing CCTV cameras and replacing worn-out desks and chairs.
Dausi’s explanation contradicts the OPC, which specifically mentioned refurnishing the office of the Chief Secretary only when it asked for a No Objection to single source EQWIP Interiors Works to do the job.
In a leaked letter dated November 17 2017, from OPC to the Director of Public Procurement, Muhara’s office said: “The Office of the President and Cabinet is requesting for a No Objection to refurnish the Chief Secretary to the Government‘s Office by EQWIP Interior Works using single sourcing method.”
Dausi yesterday declined to comment when asked why he said the K64 million was meant to refurbish the entire OPC complex when the OPC letter asking for a No Objection had clearly singled out furniture for the Chief Secretary’s office
“I think what I have said is enough. I know you will continue to write about this until the government looks dirty but I have said enough,” Dausi said.
Dausi also claimed in the statement that the complex has not been refurbished since 1975 when, in fact, it was last renovated between 2004 and 2006.
“For instance, between 2006 and 2007, the OPC was refurnished, and new carpets put in. Windows were also tainted…and recently, the security doors were changed,” an insider who asked for anonymity said.
“Every year, maintenance woks are budgeted for but, clearly, this expenditure was illegal because we do not have any warrant to authorise the expenditure at OPC.
Yesterday, civil society organisations (CSOs) started pressing for the suspension of Muhara to pave the way for investigations
The CSOs led by the Centre for Human Rights and Rehabilitation and Centre for Development of People called for an immediate action on Muhara, arguing the allegations reflect negatively on the presidency

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