By: Vincent Gunde
DOWA LODGE A WORRISOME TO COMMUNITIES
NICE Trust- Dowa, has accused the Dowa District Council Secretariat of tenting the Dowa Lodge to interns of the hospital and council saying this is contrary to community’s expectations.
District Civic Education officer, Vincent Mbenjere, said the resthouse rehabilitated to a lodge bought in much expectations that soon or later after being fully completed , it will bring in the much needed revenue to the council.
Mbenjere asked the council to establish ways and means of ensuring that the lodge be a commercial venture and not letting it only to interns who only pays a little money of no importance to the council’s service delivery.
Speaking in an interview, the council’s Acting Director of Planning and Development, Yusuf Laki ,said the lodge is not fully completed and once completed the public will be informed.
However, Dowa main market committee chairman, Oliver Katema, said the lodge’s surrounding communities are not happy with what is happening at this lodge saying milions of tax payers money have been spent for a development which lacked transparency and accountability.
Katema said the lodge’s old iron sheets were re painted ,red, to look like new ones and the same applied to the old bricks moulded during the colonial era whichwere also re- used with the new ones.
He said the communities are not happy with the sub standard council toilet rehabilitated afew metres away from the lodge and behind the Dowa community centre ground claiming that the contractor is alleged to have pocketed over K800,000 for the job which the vendors challenge that they could have done better.
In 2016, the Catholic Commission for Justice and peace( CCJP) of the Arch Diocese of Lilongwe released a Public Expenditure Tracking report which faulted the Dowa District Council of abuse of public resources meant for the poor in the district citing the rehabilitation of Dowa rest house to a lodge which was implemented without a project committee.