CHIKWAWA (Steve Chirombo, Mana) –Over MK35 million is suspected to have gone missing at Chikwawa district council with a call from councilors for an immediate transfer of the Director of Finance (DOF) from the district.
In their letter dated 15/09/2015 signed by all twelve councilors addressed to the Director of Local Government Services and copied to the District Commissioner and the Executive Director Malawi Local Government Association (MALGA) referenced “Concerns of council and service committee members”, they accuse the DoF, Frank Saidi of being on the centre of controversy.
The three point letter explains on failure by the council to hold service and council committees, financial mismanagement and lack of recognition of the councilors.
“He (DOF) relocates and spends the approved budgets without consulting the council contrary to the provision of the local government Act on financial management for example; the K16 million kwacha for CDF was relocated to unknown allocation without the approval of the council and the use of the money was not reported to the council through the finance committee,” states the letter.
It further reads: “About K19 million was relocated to the use of Other Recurrent Transactions (ORT) budget which was not done, despite having requested the secretariat to fulfill the requirements on financial issues and above all procurement is done on huge sums of money without seeking the approval of the finance committee as required.”
It is also alleged that the council has stayed for more than five months without holding full council meetings which are the constitutional structures of the council which monitor the service delivery of the secretariat and all devolved sectors in the interest of the local people.
”With all these allegations, we councilors think that all these problems are originating from the finance department, we have therefore decided to demand immediate transfer of the Director of Finance (DoF) as a starting point which was due on 20th September, 2015 failing which appropriate action will be taken,” reads the letter.
Meanwhile, officials at Chikwawa district council have ordered the alleged Director of Finance to go on leave in order to pave way for investigations.
On his part, Chikwawa District Commissioner, Bester Mandere has since asked councilors to be patient until reconciliation of alleged mismanaged funds is done.