Malawi: Road Contractors to Hold Vigil At Roads Fund Administration Over Delayed Mk14bn Payment

Members of the Malawi Allied Building Contractors Association (Mabcata)--who were supposed to demonstrate Thursday against the Roads Fund Administration (RFA) for delaying to pay them K14 billion dating back to January this year--shifted the demonstrations to allow RFA to honour the contractors seven-day ultimatum.

But one of the leaders of the contractors, Charles Chilunda, has vowed that they will hold a vigil at RFA offices in Lilongwe, if the state-owned agency fails to pay them after seven days.

The contractors, 50 in total, had submitted a petition to RFA on Tuesday, in which they have outlined a plethora of their grievances and issued the ultimatum, which expires Thursday next week.

However, the contractors were still determined to demonstrate Thursday this week.

The contractors petition to RFA reads in part: "Since January 2024, 155 days have elapsed without any pay to us the contractors, which is very unfortunate, especially in view of the current inflation and loss of value of the Malawi kwacha.

"You should be reminded that this is our livelihood and we are failing to support ourselves and our families."

The shifting of the demonstrations follow a resolution of Wednesday's stakeholders meeting allowing the contractors to continue engaging RFA and other concerned parties in order to exhaust the procedure of contact and dialogue, according to District Commissioner for Lilongwe, Lawford Palani.

Chilunda, who is also Managing Director of Prichala Civil Engineering, added that it was improper for them to still demonstrate when they have already given RFA an ultimatum within which it should address their concerns.

"So, if they do not pay us by Thursday next week, we will then go back to the streets after that and later hold an indefinite vigil at RFA offices in Lilongwe.

"We need our money. We want sanity and justice in the industry," Chilunda said.

RFA public relations manager, Masauko Mngwaluko, is on record telling the media that the payment delays are "due to the late remittance of road maintenance levies that Malawi Energy Regulatory Authority (Mera) collects from fuel pump prices".

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