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Editorial CommentOpinion & Analysis

We are too poor to continue losing millions

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That Malawi is among the three poorest countries in the world is no longer a secret. It is a fact that is there for all to attest to.

But while all well-meaning Malawians are hanging their heads with the unenviable tag that Lilongwe is shamelessly donning, some institutions seem not to care.

They continue to cast our hard-earned resources down the drain with reckless abandon. That we are in a dire financial position matters less to them.

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A case in point is Lilongwe City Council’s spending of K118 million on a project that should not have been. The council is set to cough that much to reconstruct Biwi Health Centre which was declared not fit for use by the Ministry of Health.

It is reported that the council cannot even put up a legal claim, let alone take the contractor to task for the substandard job.

What is even more painful is the council’s admission that the problem emanated from lack of capacity to supervise the construction works.

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But in all this, we see a very good example of negligence. Someone somewhere did not do their job. That someone, or that group of individuals, should be taken to task for failing us as a nation.

The project may have been for the people of Biwi and surrounding areas, but anyone of us could benefit from it one day. The money that was used to carry out the substandard works was drawn from our taxes, just as the K118 million to be used in reconstructing the health facility.

One only wonders how a whole city council can fail to mobilise officers and resources to supervise construction of a small facility like a health centre. By the way, if a city council that is responsible for our Capital City fails to carry out such simple tasks, what should we expect from district and town councils?

The government should also shoulder the blame for failing to fill numerous vacancies that exist in our councils across the country.

That said, the government should follow up on the matter and take to task all individuals who continue to blow our hard-earned taxes because of such negligence.

K118 million can make a big difference if placed elsewhere to the benefit of all of us. The talk has been there for too long. It is now time to crack the whip on careless and negligent public officers.

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