Member of Parliament (MP) for Rumphi West, Yona Adadawiza Mkandawire, has earned himself the wrath of the District Commissioner (DC), Fred Movete, over his demand for transparency and accountability in the management of the Constituency Development Fund (CDF).
On 21st September 2021, Mkandawire wrote the Principal Secretary for the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development, Dr. Charles Kalemba, asking him to intervene in what he called ‘failure by the DC to produce expenditure report’, which he had requested from Movete.
The MP complained that his grievances are being overshadowed by the findings of the latest Local Authority Performance Assessment (LAPA), which rated the district highly in financial and governance performance.
Among others, the lawmaker cites non-provision of financial expenditure report reflecting activities initiated and implemented on the ground, payment made to suppliers when work or materials have not being delivered, missing of procured materials, failure to facilitate elections of members of the Area Development Committees (ADCs) and Village Development Committees (VDCs) despite authorities at the council drawing CDF funds in the name of instituting the same since 2019.
“A lot is happening with the DPW [Director of Public Works] and the procurement office. And the DC and Director of Finance know it all,” reads part of the letter Mkandawire has written to Kalemba.
The letter has been copied to the Minister of Local Government and Rural Development and the Director of Local Government Services.
Mkandawire warned that the people of Hewe are planning to conduct peaceful demonstrations to push Movete to release funds meant for the drilling of a borehole in the area, which the MP claims, the DC is clinging to.
In his reaction, Movete, instead of addressing substantive issues in the letter, has called the lawmaker a disgrace.
The DC accuses Mkandawire of being ignorant about the role of a ministry in the management of councils.
“For your info, the PSs give policy guidance and monitor standards; they will never help you in managing operations and your relationships with council management. I respect the office you hold but l don’t respect you as a person coz you are a disgrace to that public office and l don’t understand why people elected you in the first place,” says Movete.
He further brags that, unlike Mkandawire, he was appointed to the position of the DC because of his professional qualifications and experience and to serve in throughout Malawi and not specifically for Rumphi.
“If l am posted away from your miserable district l will be a very happy person. CDF is a very small portion of the council budget. If you want to manage it personally put it in writing so that l inform the National Local Government Finance Committee. For your own good, learn how to work with ADCs, Councilors and TAs otherwise you are playing a very slippery political game. You are free to send this message to your masters and whoever can help you,” challenges Movete.
But some social media activists have criticized the DC for his approach on the matter. They wonder whether being most educated qualifies him not to be subjected to public scrutiny.
“As a representative of the people, the MP is mandated to demand transparency and accountability in the management of public resources at the district council. So, Movete has no right to insult the MP for demanding as such,” said Lusayo Kachali on one of the WhatsApp fora.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :