The Centre for Social Accountability and Transparency (Csat) has written Mangochi District Council asking it to clarify the status of a staff house which was constructed at Lungwena Police Unit using Constituency Development (CDF) of the 2019/20 financial year.
Csat Executive Director Willy Kambwandira said want the council to clear itself on allegations of mismanagement of funds through substandard works which has been manifested in the Lungwena Police Unit staff house.
“We want the council to tell us mechanisms which they used to monitor the project because what we are seeing is that the project in itself does not reflect the amounts that are being attached to it.
“However, we are not insinuating in any way that somebody stole the money. We just want to make sure that the public gets a clear picture of how the money was used on the project,” Kambandira said in an interview.
Recently there has been public outcry that the house does not reflect the amount of money which the contractor, Dunia Building Contractors, is asking for from the council after completing construction of the house.
While the contractor is said to have been paid K13.3 million, the council indicated on Wednesday last week during a full council meeting that the house was constructed with K20 million.
In an interview, Chairperson of the Finance Committee at Mangochi District Council Ivy Sande said she is yet to get an official response from the council as to why there are discrepancies in amounts which the council is said to have spent on the house.
In his remarks, Member of Parliament for Mangochi Lutende Iddrisi Kazembe whose CDF was used on the project said he is surprised that the council’s records show that K20 million was used on the house.
“What I approved was K13.3 million for the house. I am not sure of the K20 million the council is said to have spent on the project,” he said.
Kazembe further said he is not sure if the house which was built reflects the money spent on it.
Information by the Area Development Committee (ADC) shows that the community was not informed of the project value.
While refusing to divulge more information on the contract details, Shaibu Chiwise of Dunia Building Contractors confirmed to have signed a K13.3 million Local Purchase Order to construct the house and a toilet.
“What we constructed is what we were told to construct. If there is anything I think you should talk to the council because they are the ones who award contracts,” he said.
Mangochi District Commissioner Raphael Piringu said the house reflects the K13.3 Million value for money considering that he contractor also constructed a VIP toilet which cost around K3.5 Million.
“However, the matter is being fueled by the conflict which exists between MPs and councilors. The councilors want to be doing some jobs for the MPs which the MPs do not want. But the structure is not as people are insinuating,” he said.
However, the council’s chairperson Alan Mmadi said they will investigate the contract to establish if indeed the two bedroomed house is worth the amount being mentioned the contract