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Gov’t urged to abort plans to buy Mamara town houses

GOVERNMENT has been urged to reconsider its intention to purchase houses from the Mamara Tasivarongo – Mavo township project for its public servants housing scheme.

Opposition leader Mathew Wale made the call yesterday.

This was in light of a recent Cabinet decision affirming the government’s intention to secure houses in the township developed by a Chinese investor.

“It is regrettable that the Mamara Tasivarongo – Mavo Development Agreement Act excludes full application of existing laws providing for planning and infrastructure development,” Wale said in a statement. 

“The geographical location, climate change and material to be used are all matters that should be considered carefully,” he added.

“The absence of MID’s direct regulatory control and oversight raises serious questions on the standards and specifications applied by the developer to guarantee suitability of the designs and materials in our local context. 

“With the ongoing negative and severe impacts of changing weather patterns, these requirements are important to ensure safety for human habitation purposes.”

Wale said considering the scale of the project, it is even more regrettable that law prevented public and landowner opinion on the layout of the site and the suitability of the designs in the local context.  

“From what can be seen the houses already look too frail on the face of our gale force winds in full flight. 

“Anyone looking at them will certainly wonder whether the buildings can withstand such forces.

“The government must understand that the safety of public servants and interested investors must come first.

“I therefore urge the government to give these concerns serious thought.  Due diligence checks must be carried out if tax payers’ money is going to be used to purpose the houses.   

“This is a Chinese tune that can go seriously wrong for our public servants and interested investors and so the government must exercise restraint and best judgment,” the Opposition Leader added.

Wale also warned that by entering into any deal, opens the risk for manipulative increases in costs that could create a mismatch in actual value and pricing status of these houses.

The Opposition Leader however suggested that if the government so chooses to go ahead with the approved plan, then it should allow for the market forces to be at play, which could help to put pressure for lower costs.