LILONGWE-(MaraviPost)-The Malawi Government on Wednesday warned that it will blacklist all unscrupulous suppliers in the Decent and Affordable Housing Subsidy Programme (DAHSP) as reports indicates that some of them are supplying substandard materials.

Anna NamathangaKachikho, Minister of Lands, Housing and Urban Development sent the warning in Lilongwe when she presented the update on the progress on the implementation the programme well known as Malata and Cement subsidy program.

“The Ministry has noted with concern reports of the supply of substandard materials by some dishonest suppliers in some councils and to beneficiaries. This is contrary to the contract agreement made
between Government and the suppliers whereby the expectation from Government is that suppliers will only deliver high quality materials as per the specifications.” said Kachikho

She then disclosed that following this development, Government has advised all the councils and Housing Development Groups not to accept any substandard materials delivered by the suppliers.

“Once such poor-quality materials have been rejected, the Ministry cannot honour any invoices for payment, and the supplier will be blacklisted” she warned and added “The Ministry will not hesitate to
name and shame any supplier who is out to cheat the beneficiaries of Malata and Cement Subsidy Programme with substandard materials.”

However, Kachikho and Mr. George Nthachi, Director of Housing in the Ministry, collaborated that reports on dishonesty have been reaching the Ministry as hearsay’s through media reports because councils and
beneficiaries have never raised any of such incidences. But noting that these incidences could happen and to avert them from occurring, they both called on the general public and stakeholders to hasten in
reporting those issues to the Ministry.

Among others, the Lands and Housing minister disclosed that since 2014 the program has been encountering some problems including poor communication and understanding of the programs messages by the beneficiaries, as well as frequent transfers of key officers in various councils and shortage of technical staff in some councils.

But assured that some decisive measures have been put in place in response to such problems.

She assured that the Ministry together with stakeholders have taken steps to improve the programs service delivery. Among the measures she said is to ensure that there is timely and orderly delivery of materials, increased awareness on building standards, timely disbursement of funds, proper assessment of material requirements by councils and that the ministry has adopted a phased approach in the
delivery of materials and construction of houses.

Meanwhile, Kachikho has disclosed that to date, a total of 23 192 beneficiaries under loan component have been served with building materials of which 12, 072 houses have been completed while 11, 120 houses are at different levels of construction. She also indicated that MK20.4 million has been collected as programs repayment from selected councils.

On grant component, she shared that the Ministry has constructed 14 houses in Blantyre district, 10 Houses in Mwanza district and two houses are being built for albino brothers in Chikwawa district.

In the current financial year, Kachikho said the supply and delivery of materials in various districts and councils has been completed with only six councils remaining but she assured that those councils will
be supplied once the Ministry gets funding for the supplies and will be prioritised in the new financial year.

The Cement and Malata subsidy programme targets low income households to have access to improved housing through affordable building materials especially cement and iron sheets. The program targets over
15 thousand beneficiaries countrywide and it includes 75 beneficiaries under loan component and 5 beneficiaries under the grant component per constituency per year.

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