Catholic Commission for Justice and Peace (CCJP) under the Karonga Diocese has expressed concern that the country will continue to spend millions of kwacha on repairing or replacing substandard infrastructure if it continues to hire incompetent contractors.
The call come amid continuing criticism from the general public of substandard projects which have taken place in Karonga including the Karonga Songwe road and the stalled Mpata Health Centre among others.
Speaking in an interview recently after an interface meeting with Religious, Community Leaders and Karonga District Council Officials among others on issues of corruption in the district CCJP Project Coordinator Obert Mkandawire, said a lack of proper supervision, unethical behaviour and incompetence is a worrying trend that has to be reversed.
He stressed that there is need for contractors and consultants who have a good track-record to be employed to carry out projects in order to meet the desired expectations of the communities where developmental projects are taking place.
“For a long time the tendering process and the procurement process has been shrouded in mystery as a result most Area Development Committees are not aware whenever there is an advert for procurement or other services,” he said.
Mkandawire further stated that, for a long time, there has been a heavy shadow and a crowd of suspicion over issues of corruption at the district council hence the interface meeting which was aimed at getting participants views on their perception of corruption and their recommendation on how corruption can be prevented for the betterment of development.
Belliam Msukwa Chairperson for the Finance Committee at the Karonga District Council, admitted a lack of supervision and monitoring on developmental projects was holding Karonga back.
“Our supervision and monitoring as a council and as communities on developmental projects leaves a lot to be desired and that’s something we must improve upon as a districts hence we hail the interface for reminding us of our responsibility as a council and as citizens,” Msukwa explained.
With financial support from Norwegian Church Aid, CCJP has implemented the 5 year Enhancing Social Accountability in Local Governance to Reduce Inequality for an Inclusive Malawi Project in TA Wasambo and TA Mwakaboko in the district.