LILONGWE-(MaraviPost) -Malawi Minister of Labour, Sports and Manpower Development Henry Mussa has disputed social media reports claiming that he pocketed about MK700 million for the construction of two community colleges through dubious contractor awarding.
Social media commentator Gerald Chavez Kampanikiza, on Tuesday wrote on his Facebook wall alleging that millions of Kwachas lined the Minister pockets, and some contractors upon completion of the Mangochi and Nkhatabay community colleges.
Kampanikiza, who is a feared critic of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), alleged that Mangochi Community College was costed at MK192 million, however, the contractor Magomba, was paid MK600 million upon construction of the institution. Kampanikiza alleges that MK408 million was shared between Mussa and his masters (names not mentioned).
Kampanikiza further alleges that the Minister also handpicked the same contractor to construct Nkhatabay Community College, costed at MK142 million. The contractor was later paid MK500 million, and said that Mussa pocketed MK358 million.
“The money which was shared, is enough for the construction of two other community colleges in Neno and Balaka or any district with a change of MK24 million,” according to Kampanikiza.
“According to Gerald Chavez Kampanikiza (GCK) Cameras, officials at labour are unhappy and tongue-tied. Technical Entrepreneurial Vocation and Education Training Authority (TEVETA) is being requested to make some of the payments. Cry the beloved country,” Kampanikiza alleges.
But in an exclusive interview with The Maravi Post on Wednesday, the labour Minister Mussa, vehemently denied the allegations, and said they are baseless and that politics was at play with intentions to tarnish his image. The Minister further said he had made great strides on the community colleges agenda.
Mussa, who is also government Chief Whip in the Malawi Parliament, said the corruption claims were unfounded, considering the huge of amount of money involved which a contractor could be paid without meeting government procurement procedures.
The Minister, who is Member of Parliament for Chiladzuru East Constituency, asked why some misguided individuals were still plowing personal vendettas with him when he was visibly advancing youth development in the country.
The Minister then challenged Kampanikiza to bring substantive evidence against him to the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) to investigate, as opposed to Kampanikiza making political rhetoric on social media.
“The allegations that I pocketed such huge of money are baseless and unfounded. Does this Kampanikiza know government procurement procedures? The choice of the contractor was not made by me. This is just a personal vendetta to tarnish my image.
“I am challenging him (Kampanikiza) to bring evidence against me to the ACB on this corruption claims. This guy has been on this government’s neck without concrete reason. We need to serve this nation with honesty and truth, especially on many young people who are struggling with employment. This is the reason Government decided to establish the community colleges,” Mussa said