LILONGWE (MalawiTalk) – Legislators have waived question time in parliament to put pressure on government to complete the multi-million Salima-Lilongwe water project which prompted social commentator to question the motive.
This comes as the project is yet to start taking shape despite being there for years now.
Currently, members of parliament have waived private members day to discuss government business.
Meanwhile, Leader of the House who is also Dowa East legislator Mr Richard Chimwendo Banda has assured legislators government will ensure that the project is completed.
World Bank is advising the government against the project as the contractor, Khato Civils, is demanding K70 billion compensation if the project is discontinued.
Owner of Khato Civils, Mr Simbi Phiri, is a confessed Malawi Congress Party donor.
Commenting on social media, Kenani posted: “ One wonders why this project only, of all the projects in Malawi. I have never heard any single committee of Parliament talkof the fact that there is no tarmac road in Neno, for example.
“All projects are equal, but some projects are more equal than others.”
Chairperson of the Parliamentary Committee on Natural Resources and Climate Change, Mr Welani Chilenga, says government will lose $71 million (about K53 billion) if it dumps the Salima-Lilongwe Water Supply Project.
He said during presentation of the report on Natural Resources and Climate Change, and the status of Salima-Lilongwe Water Supply Project.
Chilenga said if government will terminate the contract with Khatho Civils, the latter may go back to court and government will pay a fortune on a dormant project.
“If you remember the issue was already in court in the past and when the new government came in, Khatho Civils withdrew the case.
“They hoped the new government would speed up implementation of the project but the opposite has happened, the government is still delaying,” he said.
Chilenga said it looks like government has lost interest in the project due to influence from the World Bank which favours Diamphwe Dam Project.
He said both projects are good but the issue is that government has already gone into contract with Khatho Civils; therefore, terminating the contract would be a big loss to taxpayers.
Chilenga added that the water at the lake (Lake Malawi) is sustainable while Diamphwe Dam would only last up to 2045.