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Government pledges swift resolution of outstanding payments for college projects

Written by Chinsinsi Cheketa:

Minister of Labour, Agnes Nyalonje, says the government intends to settle all outstanding payments with contractors constructing community technical colleges across Malawi to ensure that construction work resumes.

Nyalonje made the statement on Wednesday after inspecting Kalinda Community Technical College in Nkhotakota district, following similar visits to five other Community Technical Colleges, including Lura in Rumphi district.

While not specifying the actual amounts, Nyalonje stated that construction works in most colleges stalled because contractors halted work on the sites, citing the government’s failure to settle some outstanding amounts owed to them.

“For the outstanding amounts that remain unpaid, it implies that this college, which could have commenced operations this January, will not be able to start until January 2024,” said Nyalonje.

I am impressed-Nyalonje (L).

Despite the delay in completing construction works at Kalinda Community Technical College, the Labour Minister expressed satisfaction with the progress of the construction projects.

She commended the Nkhotakota District Council for its commitment to sourcing additional funding, including support from Dwangwa Illovo Sugar Company and Wildlife Environmental Society of Malawi (WESM).

“I would like to commend the Nkhotakota District Council for mobilizing additional resources from various partners in the district, including Dwangwa Illovo Sugar Company and WESM, who have pledged their support to the institution,” added Nyalonje.

Nkhotakota District Council Chairperson, Charles Chimzukuzuku, called for decentralization in the management of community technical colleges, emphasizing that local councils’ involvement would facilitate frequent supervision of construction works to ensure high-quality infrastructure.

Some of the buildings under construction.

“The Minister pointed out specific areas where the contractor must redo the work. I believe this occurred due to central government supervision, leading to a sense of relaxation on the contractor’s part,” stated Chimzukuzuku.

Chimzukuzuku pledged to continue lobbying for different partners to support the operation of the college, ensuring that enrolled youths face no difficulties once it opens.

The government-funded construction of Kalinda Community Technical College in Nkhotakota district, amounting to K800 million, began in February 2020 but stalled in February 2023 due to outstanding payments to contractors.

Similar projects are underway in Rumphi, Chikwawa, Nsanje, among other districts, where the government has allocated K800 million for each project.

 

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