Minister of Local Government and Rural Development Kondwani Nankhumwa has lamented the politicisation of some development projects in the country.
Speaking when he inspected progress on the Chitekesa Rural Growth Centre in Phalombe on Wednesday, Nankhumwa expressed shock upon seeing that all eight infrastructural development projects funded by the African Development Bank (ADB) at the rural growth centre are complete while all five locally funded projects are far from completion.
He attributed the delay in completing the government-funded projects at the centre to a funding freeze during the time the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) was out of power.
“When the new government came into power in 2012, they never saw rural growth centres as a priority. There was no funding from government. Now that the DPP is back in power, we will ensure that funding is available to complete the remaining projects,” said Nankhumwa.
He commended rural growth centre project as a feasible way to combat urbanisation which is growing at a fast rate of 6.8 percent per annum.
Nankhumwa then called on the country to devise ways of guaranteeing social security to developmental projects to stop politicians from sabotaging viable projects that they inherit. ADB has successfully completed several magnificent structures at Chitekesa, among others a community day secondary school, a district sub-office for government officials, a state-of-the-art rural hospital among others.
AFDB Country Representative, Andrew Mwaba, expressed satisfaction with the progress of the projects.
“We have seen the impact that the various components of the Local Economic Empowerment Project has achieved here at Chitekesa. Its pleasing to see how the rural hospital, the dairy heifers and the other projects are assisting local masses here,” said Mwaba.
The ADB pumped in US$21 million into the project in 2008 and an additional US$5 million in 2010 for the establishment of four rural growth centres: Jenda in Mzimba, Malomo in Ntchisi, Monkey in Mangochi and Chitekesa in Phalombe.
Ironically, some rural growth centres like Jenda in Mzimba and Maloma in Ntchisi were complete and shine in splendour while the Monkey in Mangochi and Chitekesa in Phalome have the long way to reach the completion stage.
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