Blantyre City Council officer implicated in theft bolts

A senior officer at the Blantyre City Council (BCC) and a guard working for Cats Security Company have gone into hiding after being involved in theft cases at the council’s Civic offices, Nyasa Times
can confirm.

Nyasa Times reported of massive and systematic theft cases at BCC which also led to the suspension of another senior staff Lothiar Ngulube after a number of items including a laptop and a printer were stolen in his office.

Ngulube suspension exposed a lot of dirty works at BCC such as management not taking an assertive action on the company that provides security to the council because the Director of Administration, Alfred Chanza, is reportedly on the ‘payroll’ of Cats Security Company.

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Ordinarily, according to the contract, the security company is expected to compensate for all the stolen items but since it was hired BCC property worth millions of kwacha has been stolen without the company being taken to task to replace them.

Ngulube, the BCC HIV and AIDS Coordinator, was merely suspended on tribal and reviled grounds as several other staff members have had their office equipment stolen but no action has ever been taken against them.

Our investigations have revealed that BCC Head of Printing Department, Francis Chikondwa and the guard had been on the run since security personnel from the council and police invaded their homes searching for stolen property.

“Before invading his house we first searched houses of three other staff members from the same department but we did not find anything there.

“That was when we decided to go and search the house of Mr. Chikondwa. Fortunately, at his house we found a number of items belonging to the council,” an officer from Limbe Police who was part of the searching mission told Nyasa Times.

According to the police officer, the searching team was led by BCC Security Officer Patrick Chikoko. Chikondwa stays in a city council house at Mondoni compound in Zingwangwa and his family is still there.

Added the police officer: “Immediately after that  Mr. Chikondwa bolted and according to reports we have from the city council, he has not been seen since then.”

The suspect was particularly involved in two dubious thefts at his department where a number of valuables such as a printing machine went missing yet no breakage was noticed around the office.

The source said the Cats Security guard who was manning the printing department offices also went missing immediately news reached him that police had found stolen items at Chikondwa’s house.

The recent theft case occurred on 15th April this year and property worth about K300,000 went missing, part of which were recovered at Chikondwa’s house.

Among the items found at Chikondwa’s house, according to the police officer, were ticket books for street parking valued at over K150,000 and several other items used for printing documents.

It is believed that Chikondwa was conniving with officers at Madison Holdings who were subcontracted to provide parking revenue collection services within Blantyre Central Business District (CBD) to be defrauding the council by producing fake tickets.

In November last year, the company was also found with fake tickets that were being produced in Lilongwe. That time the council lost over K3 million in a period of six weeks the company was using fake tickets.

The council entered into deal with Madson to be buying the tickets on cash basis from it but in an attempt to making more profits the company found dubious ways of producing the exact tickets which were bearing an original BCC logo elsewhere.

However, BCC employees have been wondering why the council is still holding on to the defrauding company which is a menace to its financial sustainability.

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