The Local Government Service Commission has started an inquiry in the controversial pay hike at Blantyre city council and the subsequent suspension of its chief executive officer, Ted Nandolo.
Nyasa Times sources said that Nandolo was seen self-driving a personal white Toyota car to the Civic offices and came out of the inquiry towards lunch hour.
She added that the sitting was held at the Blantyre Civic Offices from Monday to Thursday last week and that several authorities were lined up for interview.
However, BCC Public Relations Manager Anthony Kasunda denied any knowledge of the said commission.
“As far as I am aware there is nothing of that sort happening here. These matters are handled by our parent ministry,” said Kasunda.
But our source said the inquiry commission is composed of Human Resources Manager Alfred Nyengo, former Director of Administration Dr. Mac Loud Kadam’manja, Director of Financial Services Michael Kasamba, the council’s leader of trade union a Mr. Kambeta, and some councillors.
Nandolo received a letter of suspension after appearing before a ‘kangaroo court’ with minister of Local Government and Rural Development Trasizio Gowelo who accused Nandolo of usurping ministerial powers when he authorized pay hike to Councils staff earliear in the year.
“Please refer to the meeting you had on Tuesday, 24th March, 2015 with the Minister of Local Government and Rural Government, Honourable Trasizio T, Gowelo, MP, where concerns were raised regarding your recent decision to approve and implement salary adjustments for employees at Blantyre City Council without Ministerial approval contrary to the provisions of Section 26 of the Local Government Act.
“The decision you made has serious consequences more especially where it has been observed that as Chief Executive officer, you actually exercised the powers of the Minister without authority,” reads a craftily written letter signed by Kester Kaphaizi, as principal secretary at the ministry.
The letter further reads: “I, therefore, wish to advise that in exercise of powers vested in him by the Local Government (Amendment) Act No. 17 of 2010, section 6 (2), the Honourable Minister has directed that you be suspended from exercising the powers and functions of your office as Chief Executive Officer with immediate effect. The suspension is on no pay and has been instituted to pave way for further investigations into the matter.”
The letter was copied to the Chief Secretary to the Government, Secretary for Human Resources Management and development, the Chief Executive Officer and Mayor for Blantyre City Council, and the Executive Director for the National Local Government Finance Committee.
But Ministry of Local Government spokesperson Muhlabase Mughogho could not be reached for comment as she was reportedly out of the office since last week.
Hired in 2011 Nandolo has managed the BCC under three presidents; the late Bingu, recent past President Joyce Banda and the current Malawi leader.
Employees at the Blantyre City Council were promised a 25-percent pay hike effective July in 2014 but got new wages in December without back pay up to now. The council added a 15-percent pay hike effective October 2014 after government announced salary increase for the public service. BCC received the new perks in February but arrears are yet to be paid.
Dr. Alfred Chanza is the acting chief executive officer. He was sent to the council same day the ministry wrote Kadam’manja to the Blantyre District council. Kadammanja came at the city council to act on the position of director of administration that was held by Chanza who was seconded to the ministry of labour and manpower development as principal secretary.
No official has come in the open of when the results of the inquiry will be made public.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :