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Kondwani Nankhumwa launches roads project without contractor

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Local Government and Rural Development Minister Kondwani Nankhumwa on Saturday launched a K1.4 billion Mzuzu City Council roads project whose contractor is not yet identified.

If implemented, the city will only benefit six kilometres of tarmac from the project. Recently, councillors nearly fought in a full council meeting over disagreements on the choice of the roads to benefit from the project.

Nankhumwa appreciated the bumpy Lubinga- Nkholongo road by driving a grader for 70 metres. The minister and other speakers did not tell the gathering the name of the contractor and when the project will start and finish.

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Some councillors at the site said the council secretariat rushed to launch the project.

Both Mzuzu City Council Chief Executive Macloud Kadammanja and MP Leonard Njikho confirmed to The Daily Times in an interview on Sunday that there is no contractor for the project. But they said the work already started by compensating people along the roads.

In his speech, Nankhumwa warned city councils not to abuse the K6 billion meant for road development in all the four cities in the country.

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Nankhumwa said councils are currently known for abusing developmental funds through engagement of unqualified contractors who also connive with some council members to embezzle funds. He said government in conjunction with parliament will withdraw the Council Roads Fund if the authorities at the councils mess it up by doing poor job.

“As government we know that the roads that are to be upgraded in the cities will change their face and bring back the lost economic growth. But we know that the challenge can be how the council will manage the funds. We appeal to them not to mess up with the funds. If they mismanage the funds, Parliament will withdraw the next funding for the roads development,” said Nankhumwa.

Mzuzu City Mayor Councillor William Mkandawire said Mzuzu council members and the secretariat are ready to monitor the projects so that the money is used for the intended purpose.

He said the council has the capacity to handle developmental funds and the K1.4 billion is a test to them.

Two weeks ago, Minister of Transport and Public Works Francis Kasaila also hinted that all preparations for the improvement of the Mzuzu Nkhata Bay M5 Road were almost complete

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