Malawi Police have arrested seven senior Karonga Council officials in connection with the alleged misuse of K57 million meant for public works program of Malawi Social Action Fund 4 program.
Police have confirmed the arrest of director of planning David Gondwe, Irrigation oifficer Philmon Masekoz, acting director of public works Mbale and a forestry officer, among others.
Confirming the development, Karonga police spokesperson Enock Livason said the decision follows the district council order after their four hours meeting.
“We have indeed arrested 6 officers suspected to have plundered the council funds. Those arrested include the district physical planning officer Philemon Maseko, Water officer Aaron Chaponda, Irrigations officer David Yafeti, Director of Planning and Development David Gondwe, Fisheries officer Simon Ngwira and Forest officer Sam Mbale,” he said.
Livason also disclosed that the police are now hunting for the remained suspects who include the district disaster officer Walusungu Mwafulirwa.
According to the council report, the officers misused K25, 714, 404 out of K57 million meant for Malawi Social Action Fund (MASAF) project.
“Each officer was stealing the cash out from the amount of money allocated to his or her department. For instance, out of K5, 577, 000 budget allocated to the disaster office Mwafulirwa looted K4, 260, 000,” said the chairperson of finance service Bidon Katambika.
Wavisanga Silungwe who was the spokesperson for the demonstrators including the MEJN said this will send a big signal to other officers.
Reliable sources at the police say the number will rise to nine as the law enforcers are looking for a disaster department officer and a land resources officer who are currently out of the station on official duties.
The arrest of the seven senior council officials comes barely two days after business men and Karonga based civil society groups made a vigil at the council offices to force management take action against the nine suspects.
District Commissioner Rosemary Moyo said on Tuesday a full council meeting was expected on Wednesday to adopt a resolution to have the nine arrested and answer relevant charges.
Police said they will charge the suspects on Thursday.
The abuse of the money led to failure by the council to pay some council workers.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :