Water Services Corporation to start selling coffee in Mgarr, CEO silent

Karl Cilia, the new Water Services Corporation chief executive officer, is refusing to explain why the public entity responsible for the production and distribution of water across the country will be entering into a new business – the opening of a cafeteria.

According to plans already approved by the Planning Authority, an old pumping station in Mgarr, Gozo, will be restored by the WSC at taxpayers’ expense and transformed into a fully-fledged cafeteria.

The concept, completely incompatible with the corporation’s remit, was the brainchild of former CEO Ivan Falzon, himself a Gozitan. The project is taking place on a street at Mgarr Harbour that is already dominated by bars, cafés and restaurants.

Sources close to the WSC told The Shift that many inside the Corporation suspect the personal interests of some current or former official have been steering this project, which is located in an area renowned for commercial interests.

Falzon moved to Infrastructure Malta some months ago, but the project is still moving ahead with the Planning Authority giving plans for the new WSC cafeteria the green light.

Falzon’s successor as CEO, Karl Cilia, a former Enemalta official appointed to the post by Minister Miriam Dalli, who he assisted during the last general elections, refuses to give details about the project.

Asked by The Shift to explain why the WSC is entering the catering business when it is completely outside its scope of operations, Cilia did not reply.

He is also refusing to give details about who came up with the concept, who will be forking out the hundreds of thousands of euros required to turn an abandoned building into a modern cafeteria or who will be operating the new business.

Despite managing a major public entity and being paid over €110,000 in taxpayers’ funds to carry out his duties, Cilia has so far refused to furnish any details whatsoever.

Over the years, Mgarr’s Triq Martino Garces, where the WSC cafeteria will be located, has been transformed into one of the most commercial areas on the island, totally dominated by high-end restaurants on both sides of the street.

Business owners on the same street described the WSC’s new business venture as ‘odd, to say the least’.

“Apart from having a public agency competing with us in an area that has nothing to do with its remit, we suspect that this is some typical Gozitan plan destined for someone with good government ties,” one businessman said.

“If the WSC wanted to make use of a dilapidated property, it could have easily issued a tender and leased it out. But opening its own catering establishment smells fishy,” another said.

The project was never mentioned in the WSC’s latest annual report for 2021.

                           
                               
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Francis Said
Francis Said
11 days ago

Actually this could be a brilliant idea. If this cafeteria churns out a good cup of coffee. It would easily state that the brown stuff that comes out from our taps every now and then, is actually coffee not an antiquated, badly maintained distribution system.!!!!😀

Last edited 11 days ago by Francis Said
Roberto
Roberto
11 days ago

If a ‘Malta company’ deviated like this from its business objectives, it would be hauled up in court on Money Laundering charges

Lawrence Mifsud
Lawrence Mifsud
10 days ago
Reply to  Roberto

But not in Malta….

Paul Pullicino
Paul Pullicino
11 days ago

Do you want to make 400 euros a day working mainly from home? No this is not a scam. You just fill in a “help us get elected form” available on the PL website and you will soon receive an appointment for an interview and after a few months you will be appointed as CEO of some government authority with a salary larger than life. You will also have the licence to employ relatives and friends with the same authority.

adriang
adriang
11 days ago

And then they will rent it out or sell it to a friend for a pittance.

Lawrence Mifsud
Lawrence Mifsud
10 days ago
Reply to  adriang

Again, NOT in Malta!

Joseph Tabone Adami
Joseph Tabone Adami
11 days ago

Will it be called “Kafe tal-Hbieb”? A highly appropriate name, one might say!

Carlin
Carlin
11 days ago

Or even better
kafe tal-hbieb tal-bieb.
What crooks, they have no right to use a public entity for commercial purposes outside the remit of the company to benefit private individuals.

T. P.
T. P.
11 days ago

A couple of weeks ago we learnt that Transport Malta intended to open a cafeteria at Ta Xbiex seafront. The Water Services Corporation seems to have taken the cue and aims to open this one at Gozo.

It would appear that eateries are the latest craze with government bodies. One may also bear in mind the opening of one at a museum in Mdina.

It would be interesting to learn whether this latest craze is the brain of the same person/s.

Keith Edwin
Keith Edwin
11 days ago

Nothing to see here, move along. If we don’t answer its because its none of your business, even if your money is being used. Stop asking difficult questions!

makjavel
makjavel
11 days ago

Are all the Ministries going into the Cafe and Pastizzi Business to finance their expences? What has the Minister of Finance told them?

Mark
Mark
10 days ago

Xejn differenti mill-Kolombja… ma nafx kif l-UE ma titfagħniex ‘il barra bid-daqqiet ta’ sieq.

Demzer
Demzer
9 days ago
Reply to  Mark

Madonna kif immutu bill guh kieku

AD38
AD38
10 days ago

An excellent job opportunity for ex Airmalta crew.

R Pace Bonello
R Pace Bonello
10 days ago

Minn jaf minn hu l-bazuzlu?

Toni Borg
Toni Borg
10 days ago

this is a cover up obviously…..with WSC doing all the refurbishment works and paying for them and then “secretly”, as always assign the shop to a PL lackey!

there is corruption everywhere!!!!! the situation is thoroughly desperate!

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