Chitipa Councilors demand accountability of  K13mil DDP funds

Councilors in Chitipa District have  tasked  secretariat officials to immediately account for K13 million meant for the production of the District Development Plan (DDP) document.

Chairperson Mwepa
DC Grace Chirwa

The demand was made Monday during a full council meeting held at St. Kizito Conference Centre, at Chitipa Boma

The officials have since been given  a 21 day ultimatum  to produce the crucial document, warning that absence of compliance will draw their wrath.

The DDP document is a catalogue of development plans for each district, pending to be implemented,  in form of projects which tend to address communities pressing needs, when funds are available.

Last year, council officials, led by the then Acting Director of Planning and Development, (DPD), Alick Ngozo, pleaded with the councilors to approve the proposed budget despite members’ arguments that the resources were too much just for the production of the document.

The proposed budget saw the light of the day when it had the blessings of  Member of Parliament for Chitipa Wenya, Godfrey Mudulasi Mnkhondia,  former Director of Finance (DOF) for the district.

“The document to be produced is very important because it determines the type of development projects the district intends to implement to improve the welfare of the people,” Mnkhondia said in his contribution, which drew round of applause from officials, a development that surprised unsatisfied ward representatives.

But up to now, the document is nowhere to be seen and District Commissioner, Grace Chirwa and her team have never bothered themselves to explain to councilors at what step the document is, which has angered  Council Chair person, Isaac Mwepa and his colleagues.

he said, “We passed the budget in good faith, after  Hon. Mnkhondia, who is knowledgeable in  issues of finance, had supported the proposal. But now we feel betrayed since  we can not see the document despite the fact that all the funds have been spent.”

Meanwhile, Mwepa has warned that he will report the matter to the Minister of Local Government and Rural Development for an action if the DC and her  team fail to produce the document by  May 18, 2017.

But in a separate interview, the new DPD for Chitipa,  Tamanya Harawa has asked for patience from the councilors, arguing that  ultimatums do not bring  solutions to problems, besides souring relations.

“My  humble appeal to our  councilors is that they must be patient enough. It will not help matters to give us fixed date to produce the DDP. Everyone knows I have just come and I am already working on the document,” he asked.

Harawa, one of veteran DPDs,  said he had no intentions to point  fingers at other officials who shoulder the blame for failure to produce the document.

DDP task force members were only actively involved during formation of a sketchy district socioeconomic profile, a document which provides insights for the documentation of the DDP and during preparations for village action plans (VAPs) compilation.

The DDP issues comes hot on the heels of  concerns from councilors to the extent that at times secretariat officials short-change them by implementing  plans contrary to what have been agreed during full council meeting.

Chitipa District has been operating without  the DDP from 2009, when the last one expired, a situation that has left many people wondering how the district implements projects without  the input and blessings from community members as target beneficiaries, to ensure project ownership and  sustainability.

The district has been running without a DPD, who heads planning department, which is key in implementation of development projects.

The district has been unfortunate as at one time, Director of Administration (DOA),DPD, DOF, Director of Public Works Programme (DPWP) and the DC were holding these crucial positions purely on acting capacity basis, which, to a larger extent, attributed to the border district’s mediocre performance which has been pegging it at the bottom of districts performance list in the country.

Harawa has observed that the council has been failing to successfully deliver in its programmes due to lack of active involvement of  officers from other sectors who have  excellent skills in specified fields.

He challenges, “I will involve everyone in implementation of projects. I will not look at  faces when assigning roles but one’s capacity to perform for positive results.”

It has been noted with concern that officials from the secretariat  engage certain individuals  all the times during highly paying  supervision trips to Local Development Fund (LDF), Productive Public Works Projects (PPWP), with some  merely taking the trips as a poverty reduction adventures  as they have nothing to record at project sites.

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5 years ago

I feel pity for the dundetheads. they are taking on advantage of lack of proper knowledge in the district. what sort of expenses may tally to develop a working plan up to that time? these are day robberies which need to be audited as soon as possible. Rwanda would not have at such pace of development of they would have adopted goat pple of Chitipa district council. it’s unfortunate that the gorvernment watch dogs are busy dosing and silent on these important matters. this is a well organized official crime which needs to be dealt with urgency. these thugs must… Read more »

Arson Ngambi
Arson Ngambi
5 years ago

Its not only 13mil, its more that, workers from DC have pocketing money for the development since beyond 2009 but no one is accountable. I am glad that the councilors have come out to point the DC about mis-squandering money for the development of our communities please the DC must be questioned where about the money the was donated to construct the Lufita Market. This money was eaten by the DC office and the Lufita Market has not been constructed. This money must also be accounted for. My name is Alson Ng’ambi from Lufita Village in Chitipa if this money… Read more »

Concerned citizen
Concerned citizen
5 years ago

The councilors are right. 13 million just for production of a document . Are the officers responsible for such a task not technocrats in their field and on government pay roll ? Even if they were going to be paid allowances for going out in the process of their assignment would this require 13 million ? W e are informed that the money is gone but there is yet no document. There is a lot of siphoning of government money in our country for personal gain. Malawi will get no where with this kind of approach to doing government business.

5 years ago


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