A new school in Kasungu built by NGO, Good Neighbors, cost of K200 million, that included good houses for teachers
* The campus is said to include state-of-the-art library, 6 houses, amphitheater, open arena
* The costs are on the lower side when I looked at the drawings. It’s not just about the graveyard
By Duncan Mlanjira
The Ministry of Tourism, Culture & Wildlife has flighted a notice in public media that it intends to award a contract for the construction of a mausoleum for founder of Malawi Congress Party (MCP), Orton Chirwa in Nkhata Bay at the cost of a whopping K1.4 trillion (K1,401,128,524).
The contract has been awarded to Hema Construction Limited and Central Construction Group in a joint venture.
The Ministry has also awarded rehabilitation works for the amphitheatre at Blantyre Cultural Centre (formerly French Cultural Centre) to OPCO Limited at K155,720,132.
The Ministry further informs bidders who “wishes to ascertain the grounds on which its bid was not selected for the two projects” to submit in writing by Wednesday March 16 but “in any event the government reserves the right to review any complaint of a bidder at any time following the award”.
Meanwhile, the Public Procurement & Disposal of Assets Authority (PPDA) has withdrawn its “no objection to award a contract the construction of Orton Chirwa Mausoleum” which it sent on February 24.
The PPDA Director General Edington Chikapondwa says this has been done “to allow finalization of all required internal clearances which were inadvertently omitted”.
The cost of the Orton Chirwa mausoleum was received with great reservations by the public describing it as very expensive at the expense of much more immediate needs the country ought to address.
Commenting on Facebook, journalist Idriss Ali Nassar posted some pictures of a new school which NGO, Good Neighbors, built in Kasungu at the cost of K200 million, that included good houses for teachers.
“And you have our government about to award K1.4 billion to construct one tombstone and whatever else at the grave of Orton Chirwa — one billion and four hundred million kwacha?” asked Nassar.
“We are led by a government of the corrupt. Of shameless thieves, sadists and satanists. Everyday are people dying because hospitals don’t have MRI scan machines; hospitals don’t have dialysis machines; we have no cancer hospital; we have no anaesthetic drugs for women delivering via the Cesarean section.
“Everyday we have desperate students in public universities begging for food, accommodation, upkeep — the list of existential needs is long.
“Yet this MCP-led Tonse nonsense government’s pressing priorities are in cloud cuckoo land. They are getting erotic dreams about spending (and stealing) K23 billion on the so-claimed ‘maintenance’ of Sanjika Palace and Kamuzu State House and K1.4 billion on a tombstone in a self-serving but nonetheless nauseating attempt to appease and atone for the merciless bludgeoning to death of Orton Chirwa by the MCP of old.
“We are led by Kings of Thieves and fools and sadists and satanists and a hapless bunch of unthinking automatons who have suddenly found themselves with a lot of power and poor people’s money to abuse, and are gorging on both like monkeys in a banana field,” a furious Nassar said.
Edgar Kapiza Bayani responded to say: “The Good Samaritan Organisation has clearly demonstrated that with proper management and strict adherence to laid down rules, we can make do with what we have.
“If MK200m can produce such a beautful output in this same Malawi,surely our act is not in order in as far as management of government finances are concerned.
“If I were government and indeed a member of the esteemed Reforms Program ndikanadzicheptsa nkukafunsa ku NGO iyi kuti ‘kodi mumapanga bwanji’.
George Kacheche said: “I would vote for it not to be built. I don’t underestimate what they did for the country; but would they allow such an expenditure for themselves as opposed to solving all these problems out here?”
However, Sangalalani Chinkhunda described this as “overzealousness of criticizing everything without looking at details first”.
“The campus will have the following: Mausoleum, state-of-the-art library, 6 houses, amphitheater, open arena. These emenities are scare that side. Infact, the costs are on the lower side when I looked at the drawings. It’s not just about the graveyard,” he said.
Another commentator chipped in to indicate it will incorporate state-of-the-art mausoleum block and office block which will include an information centre where history and legacy of the Orton Chirwa would be displayed.
It will also have space at the edge of the tombstone to accommodate two portraits of Orton Chirwa and his wife Vera; two staff houses for mausoleum attendants; two dwelling houses of Orton’s immediate family members; a car park and a paved open space for conducting public events.
The unnamed commentator, obviously an MCP member, went further to “even though Nkhata Bay the birth place of MCP, we are not on the same page. So although its expensive, but it shall clean our image as a party in Nkhata Bay”.
“Secondly, even if it’s a lot of money but it’s cheaper now than tomorrow. Its tourism potential will return that money in due course.
“Nothing is too expensive for the founder of MCP, he and David Rubadiri wrote the Constitution, we thank them for the 30 years of prosperity and the 10 years we will rule this country.”