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Archives October 2023

Newly constructed slaughterhouse
Concerns over Newly Constructed Chitipa Slaughterhouse

By Wezzie Mwangonde*

Chitipa District Council is one of the councils that have received funding for development projects under the Governance to Enable Service Delivery (GESD) in the 2022/2023 financial year, one of which is the newly constructed slaughterhouse. This has raises concerns among Butchery Association members in the district due to their low participation and lack of some structures at the site.

Newly constructed slaughterhouse
Newly constructed slaughterhouse

In an interview, recently, Chitipa Butchery Association Chairperson, Siasa Nyondo said the Association has had low participation during the construction of the slaughterhouse, citing that none of their members was part of the project management committee.

Nyondo explained that some structures are missing at the site such as toilets, manure bin and inside tap water. This he said has left them with unanswered questions as they are still waiting for the council to invite them for the meeting to discuss the completion of the construction.

“The council only involved us during the project’s inception meeting where they committed to include one of us in the project management committee which did not happen until we saw the newly constructed structure on our own and the council has never invited us again. We are still waiting for them to invite us,” said Nyondo.

Old slaughterhouse
Old slaughterhouse

According to former Chitipa Civil Society Organisations Network Chairperson, Sydney Simwaka the contractor finished the construction of the slaughterhouse within the construction period from 7th December, 2022 to 7th March 2023, but said he is unable to respond to why the structure is not being utilized by the people till now.

He has also urged the people in the district to have interest in the projects that are constructed using public funds and participate fully in order to promote transparency and accountability in development activities in the country.

“The construction finished within the period but the council would be in a better position to respond as to why the slaughterhouse is not being utilized because we do not know the reasons. May be we need to wait for the handover ceremony,” explained Simwaka.

In his remarks, the owner of Mazangala Building Construction, Ranson Simbeye has confirmed that the slaughterhouse’ keys were handed over to the Chitipa District Council in September this year.

Simbeye said, the construction of toilets, houses and maintenance of feeder road to the slaughter house which has a lot of potholes were not part of the contractor’s job.

“We handed over the keys and everything is in the hands of the government. According to the bill of quantity (BOQ) construction of toilets and houses at the site were not part of the contract as well as maintenance of the feeder road,” said Simbeye.

Commenting on the matter, Chitipa District Council Director of Planning and Development Jossen Tembo said the relevant committees such as the Village Development and main market committee were engaged. He has attributed delays in opening the slaughterhouse to lack of electricity, vandalism of electrical cables and maintenance of the feeder road to the site.

He added that electricity and water were part of the project budget. Currently, the council is sourcing funds for the maintenance of the feeder road so that people can start using the structure.

“There are some vendors who are concurring with the sentiments of other market users that the slaughterhouse is located very far from the market, therefore, we want to engage them to start using the structure because it is theirs.”

National Local Governance Finance Committee Board Chairperson, Richard Chapweteka declined to comment saying he has not yet visited the site.

Chitipa District slaughterhouse is constructed in Chitipa Central Constituency at Yamba Ward by Mazangala Building Construction Company to the tune of K39,550,072.00 under GESD.

*Wezzie Mwangonde is Chief News Editor for Tuntufye FM of the Diocese of Karonga. She writes this story as part of the Voices of Accountability Programme.

Miracle Technical Institute Holds 20th Graduation Ceremony

By Ella Chirwa

The Deputy Director of Technical Vocational Education Training under the ministry of labour, Chifundo Lodzeni has applauded the management of Miracle Technical College for joining hands with government in attaining enabler number 5 in Malawi 2063.

Entrance procession of graduating students
Entrance procession of graduating students

Lodzeni who was the guest of honour at the ceremony described the graduation as a symbol of relief to government as it is striving to achieve human capital development in making sure that young people are self-reliant.

“Young people account for 52% of the country’s population, and some are just idle. Seeing a number of youths acquiring different skills is a huge encouragement to the ministry as well as the country as a whole,” Lodzeni said.

Lodzeni further encouraged graduates to form  groups of 10 or more and start different kinds of businesses so that they employ other youths who are just idle, rather than waiting for government to employ them.

Senior Training Programs Specialist for TEVETA, Tenis Molande has counselled graduates not to be eyeing white collar jobs rather use the skills they have gained to open up their own companies and assist in the development of the country.

The Principal for the College, Wanangwa Sichone has encouraged students to go into the labour market and showcase the skills they have gained in the 3 years stay at the school.

The student that managed to get a distinction in Electrical Installation, Levison Failosi, has encouraged youths who are idle to consider gaining vocational skills for their personal advancement.

In the 20th graduation ceremony, Miracle Technical Institute has awarded diplomas and certificates to 350 students (205 females and 145 males) who have successfully completed various formal and informal courses.

CCJP New Project to Strengthen Women’s Voice in Reducing Poverty and Inequalities

By Tawonga Chisale

Catholic Commission for Justice and Peace (CCJP) under the Diocese of Karonga has launched a new project which is aimed at empowering women to reduce poverty and   inequalities in extractive governance in the district.

A cross-section of participants during the launch
A cross-section of participants during the launch

The new project is called Women’s Voice Against Poverty and Inequalities is being funded by Southern Africa Trust (SAT) and will be implemented at Mpata mining sites under Group Village Headman Mwenenguwe and Paulos.

Speaking in an interview, the organization’s Project Officer Vincent Bwinga said they have thought it wise to implement this project in the district because it has lot of mining sites which usually leave women as victims of circumstances as their voices are not heard.

“We have a lot of minerals being extracted such as coal mine, uranium and copper. Most of the times women are being left behind and voicing out their concerns is a challenge. We, therefore, would like to reduce the gap between these two genders,” Bwinga said.

“The new project will allow women to be heard by duty bearers and investors so that issues surrounding mining concerning women and communities should be resolved mostly through the voice of women,” Bwinga further said.

In a separate interview, one of the community members Christina Ngonga welcomed the development saying it will allow their voice to be heard by authorities in mining sector as and in turn spark development in their communities.

“We are very delighted with the initiative that CCJP has brought to our area because we have suffered a lot especially those working in mining sites as far as health status and environmental rights are concerned.

 “We expect that mining investors will be doing the following; offering employment opportunities to community members, construct good roads and health facilities which are a great challenge in this area,” Ngonga said.

Ngonga further expressed the women’s commitment and readiness to work with CCJP under the new project to reduce the problems they are facing and spur development in their area.

Commenting on the matter, Project Manager for Kasikizi Coal Mine, Vijey Sekhar said they are ready to work with CCJP and communities to spearhead development in the area and reduce poverty. He further said that, as mine owners, they will also make sure that the well-being of mine workers and community members is fully protected.