PAC summons Roads Fund Administration over poor roads

Officials from the Roads Fund Administration (RFA) were Thursday morning summoned by the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) of Parliament to answer on public outcry towards poor roads condition, a scenario which risks lives and properties of road users in the country.

With reference to the K5.4 billion RFA has so far collected, PAC Chairperson Mark Botomani lamented over the prolonged delays in the most anticipated maintenance and rehabilitation of the road networks in the country particularly the M1 Road.

Botomani said the public outcry over the M1 Road condition is justifiable, considering that the K5.4 billion RFA has so far collected at Kalinyeke and Chingeni Toll Gates remains idle yet the road continues to be in bad shape, rendering some parts impassable.

The PAC members also bemoaned lack of proper monitoring and evaluation during construction or rehabilitation of roads, saying this gives room for contractors to manipulate their work and construct roads of both low standards and short lifespan while sabotaging public funds.

However, RFA Chief Executive Officer, Stewart Malata, attributed the blame to the slow procurement process which, according to him, requires a number of consultations, particularly among the implementation stakeholders.

He further told the Committee that because of the delays and unprecedented currency devaluation, RFA has invested the K5.4 billion on short term deposits on money markets with private institutions such as National Bank of Malawi, NBS Bank, Standard Bank, Old mutual and NICO Asset.

Meanwhile, PAC is expected to summon all the roads infrastructure implementation stakeholders to answer on the delays on the rehabilitation of M1 Road, among others.

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