Opposition damns DPP’s flagship housing subsidy
Some opposition Members of Parliament (MPs) Wednesday tore apart the Decent and Affordable Housing Subsidy Programme (Dahsp), charging that it is riddled with corruption and mismanagement.
The MPs were responding to a report which was presented in the august House on February 9 this year.
Even some MPs from the government side of the House admitted that there are several challenges with the programme, but insisted that it has the potential to achieve its purpose if it is properly managed.
Nkhotakota South East lawmaker, Elson Makowa Mwale, of Malawi Congress Party (MCP) argued that while the report paints a positive picture of the programme’s progress, the reality on the ground is pathetic in most areas where no single house has been constructed under the programme.
“There are cries from our people who, if not that they have not gotten anything from the programme, are being given substandard materials,” said Mwale
“I am concerned that the programme is riddled with corruption. 32-gauge iron sheets are being supplied even though documents indicate that they are 28-gauge. The money being spent on the programme is money going down the drain.”
People’s Party (PP) MP for Mzimba North, Agnes Nyalonje, argued that the findings of the report point towards the fact that building a house should be an individual plan and not that of the government.
“We are wasting money on this programme which has clearly failed to achieve what it apparently intended to achieve. We were supposed to use that money for other developments other than this programme,” Nyalonje said.
Minister of Lands, Housing and Urban Development, Anna Kachikho, insisted that Malawians are benefiting from the programme and that it will continue despite the reservations from other quarters.
She further purported that it was irregular that some opposition MPs were vilifying the housing programme when they had supported a nearly similar initiative during the Joyce Banda administration called the Mudzi Transformation Programme.
While painting a positive picture of the programme, MP for Balaka South East, Aufi Mpaweni, of the United Democratic Front (UDF) decried the challenges facing Dahsp such as delays in delivery of materials.
“We need to iron out some of these issues which even the district councils are concerned about. There are also some irregularities when it comes to delivery of the materials. Some suppliers start with lime instead of cement. It seems there is lack of coordination between government authorities and the suppliers,” Mpaweni said.
Dahsp is one of Democratic Progressive Party’s (DPP) signature projects expounded in its manifesto. Despite several reports indicating that the programme is facing challenges, President Peter Mutharika has repeatedly vowed that he will not suspend it.
A vibrant writer who gives a great insight on hot topics and issues