By: Happy Arnold Soko
The Department of Health (DOH) has failed the completion of multimillion kwacha hospital infrastructure projects, depriving many locals’ access to better healthcare, The Malawi Star can reveal.
According to findings by this publication, DOH is unable to finish the construction of health facilities in Machinjiri, Blantyre which was meant to be the district hospital.
This is due to the failure by government to pay the contractor.
A committee member from the area who was supervising the project confirmed that the contractor has left due to outstanding money that the government is supposed to pay him.
Chingerezi Construction Company (CCC) failed to meet the construction deadline of the said project after government only managed to pay for the first phase.
“Of course the building is falling down. The contractor stopped working on it after government failed to pay him. He only got a cheque for the first phase and all I know is that he was using his money out of charity to do other services,” said the source.
Information shows that CCC was supposed to construct 5 houses during the first phase. Shockingly, Offices were not even started within the specified contract time as of February 22, 2016.
When contacted, Minister of Health, Peter Kumpalume denied the knowledge of any hospital project happening in Blantyre. He referred our reporter to Ministry of Health spokesperson Adrian Chikumbe who is yet to respond to our questionnaire.
“I am not aware that government is constructing a hospital in Blantyre. Speak with health Pr and director of planning,” said Kumpalume.
However Chief of health services in the Ministry Dr Charles Mwansambo requested for more time citing he has directed the questionnaire to other relevant authorities.
The Malawi government has a national healthcare service under its responsibility.
However many Malawi hospitals face poverty, food crisis and medical shortage under the current administration.
An effort to get hold of the CCC owner was futile as her phone went unanswered.