...China Railway bribes Chiefs with K100,000 for support on railway project
Traditional leaders in Nsanje say they are ready to cooperate with the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) over its investigation into bribes offered to them by China Railway 20 Corporation with the intention to shut them up from protesting against the firm’s selection on the K68 billion Bangula-Marka Railway project.
The chiefs and their subjects are against the Chinese contractor who has been awarded the deal to construct the 72-km Bangula-Marka Railway because of the poor quality work the firm has done on the Nsanje-Marka Road whose substandard workmanship was exposed by floods recently.
Adding salt to the wound is the fact that during the construction of the road, China Railways bypassed construction good environmental practices by not filling up places it was excavating soil for the project. This has resulted in yawning dams, one in which three children drowned.
To shut the chiefs up, China Railways officials and one NGO person said to be Phillip Kamangirah travelled to Nsanje recently and shelled out bribes ranging between MK100,000 and MK1,000,000 where they pleaded with the chiefs to stop their protest against the company.
But the chiefs, including those who received the bribes have put their feet down and vowed to assist the ACB investigate the matter and vowed that they will not allow China Railway 20 anywhere near the project unless their concerns are addressed.
One of the chiefs, Senior Chief Malemia, said last week that they are not against the project.
“What we have issues with is this contractor because he has given us a very poor road and we do not want poor work on the rail line,” he said at a full council meeting at the boma which was attended by China Railway 20 officials