Blantyre District Council fails to reconcile its books since 2011

Blantyre District Council has not reconciled its four financial accounts since 2011, a development that has not pleased councilors, it has been learnt.

Nkasala: The Department of Finance was working on the matter to improve the situation

The four accounts are the Other Recurrent Transactions (ORT), Local Development Fund (LDF), Constituency Development Fund (CDF) and Operation’s Fund.

This came to light during a full council meeting on September 29, 2017 at Victoria Hotel, when councilors requested detailed reports on how the finances at the council were being handled especially how much was spent and if at all there were some balances.

Councillor for Matindi Ward, Pius Horeya expressed concerned in the way the accounts office was operating by failing to provide reconciliation reports from the time the councilors were voted into power in 2014.

He said it was disheartening to see money being budgeted and allocated to various votes but yet have no report on how it has been spent and what was remaining from the expenditures.

“Honestly, we are not happy with the way the accounts department is operating. We always budget and hear that huge sums of money have been provided to the council and ever since, we have had no reconciliation reports presented to us. How do we operate in that manner,” Horeya wondered.

He added that, “Should we assume that our accounts personnel do not know their job because they are operating unprofessionally.”

The observation by Councillor Horeya was shared by his fellow Councillor, Steve Kamwendo who voiced concern with the pace at which the accounts office was operating saying, ‘it leaves a lot to be desired.’

“Bwana DC, what could probably be the problem with our Department of Finance? Let us know and see if we can be part of the solution to the problem,” Kamwendo questioned.

District Commissioner for Blantyre, Bennett Nkasala confirmed that since 2011 the council has never done any reconciliation of its accounts books because of some technical challenges.

He could not provide fine details to the challenges.

Nkasala pointed out that although this was the case for the council, the Department of Finance was working on the matter to improve the situation.

“Let’s not push the blame to the department especially the director who is heading the office, this problem has been there for some time even before some of us joined the council. Council accounts were not reconciled and it was going to be very difficult for the office to start the processes in between,” the DC said, adding that the council was doing everything to have the accounts reconciled.

Director of Finance for Blantyre District Council, Amon Kamala said the department was seriously working on the files and that in a fortnight all the reconciliation work would have been completed.

“Yes, we haven’t done that for some time but this does not mean we are not doing anything. In fact, you may be pleased to know that in two weeks’ time from now we should be able to finalize all the reconciliations,” he assured.

The Director of Finance added, “People must understand that reconciling all the accounts books from 2011 is not an easy task and I am doing this all alone although recently I tried to capacitate my office by adding more accounts personnel.”

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