Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development has commenced disciplinary action against Lilongwe City Council (LCC) following reports of gross negligence in relation to roads upgrading programme as well as giving false information regarding project progress.
The council has been put under spotlight in what is termed as ‘roads-gate’ due to substandard work on some of the upgraded roads in the city under City Roads Upgrading Programme which the ministry is implementing in all four cities of the country.
In a letter dated April 24th, 2017 titled Ref. LG/RD/1/2 signed by Secretary for Local Government and Rural Development, Kiswell Dakamau, the council’s has been faulted for failing to submit progress reports on the upgraded roads.
Dakamau, in the letter directed to LCC’s Chief Executive Officer, Moza Zeleza, has also questioned the restrained relationship between the council and hired Supervising Consultant, Henderson and Partners who objected to quality of some of the upgraded roads.
“As you are aware, this ministry has been conducting monitoring visits to the City Roads Upgrading Programme in all the four (4) Cities in the Country including Lilongwe City Council. This is for purposes of groundtruthing to the periodic reports the Ministry has been requesting from the councils.
“Specifically for your city, the ministry has been requesting for reports from your office on the progress of the same on a number of occasions including at the time the Ministry learnt that the Supervising Consultant, Henderson and Partners, had withdrawn his services. In all these instances you provided assurance that your road projects were performing well,” Dakamau wrote in the letter.
The letter follows a road inspection the ministry conducted in the city on April 21st, 2017.
When contacted, LCC’s Chief Executive Officer, Moza Zeleza said was elusive and kept on saying he was in a meeting each time Nyasa Times called.
Dakamau noted that the council, on a number of occasions, provided the ministry with incorrect information in regards to progress reports on the upgraded roads.
“The Ministry is also of the view that your council did not professionally manage the issue of the Consulting Engineer to the point that he had to withdraw his services when works were still in progress.”
The Ministry further faulted the council for gross laxity in supervising both the consulting engineer and the contracted construction companies.
Dakamau has since advised the council to ensure that the consulting engineer has been reinstated with immediate effect so that that the works are professionally supervised, and that all roads noted to have been done in a substandard way should be rectified.
“In view of these developments, please be advised that this Ministry commence disciplinary action against your office for gross negligence of duty in due course in accordance with the frameworks governing your work. I should be grateful if the above will be brought to the attention of all your staff and concerned parties,” said Dakamau.
Lilongwe City Council was allocated K1.8 billion in the 2015/16 financial year out of which the actual funding was K1.2 billion and in 2016/17 financial year it was allocated K2.5 billion which was later revised to K2.175 billion to upgrade six roads.