About 16 District Commissioners have signed a petition sent to President Mrs Joyce Banda in which they have exposed two top officials in the Ministry of Local Government for abuse of office and practising naked nepotism.
In a petition seen by Nyasa Times, the DC’s say in the petition that they have “suffered for too long in silence” under the hands of Stuart Ligomeka (PS2) and Kingswell Dakamau the director of local government services.
They accuse the two of frustrating the DC’s and that they have created “mini-empires, political and social networks in and outside the ministry to such an extent that government business is being managed as if its personal estates.”
The DCs inform the President that Ligomeka taking undue advantage of his position “influenced the promotion” of Dakamau – to the position of Director of Local Government Service – while he was studying in the UK.
The two come from the same area, the Lower Shire.
“The development ended up frustrating other equally deserving DCs who infact served longer than Mr Dakamau himself. We consider this act as [purely nepotistic, tribalistic and fully fledged favouritism,” reads the petition in part.
The DCs accused Ligomeka and Dakamau of amassing “so much power “ and that they by-pass the Secretary for Local Government , Kester Kaphaizi, in many important decision affecting council operations.
The DCs accuses Dakamau for using his position to request for resources from various DCs for personal use.
They inform the President that during Dakamau’s brother, “he demanded fuel from some DCs, like that of Lilongwe, Nsanje and Blantyre to transport his relation to attend a wedding in Lilongwe.”
The petition also say Dakamau sent SMSs to selected DCs “requesting for K500, 000 cash for his bail out on a plot be bought from Ministry of Lands.”
The DCs also say they have been frustrated and demotivated, saying they have served as DCs for over 12 years at one grade of S5/P5, saying it is not “common phenomenon in the civil service.”
“Your Excellency you may wish to note that in the year 2005 we were invited to Capital Hotel where we were informed that government had approved our appointments as Controlling officers,” reads the petition, noting that the announcement was made by then Secretary of Human resource Management Sam Madula and for Secretary to the Treasury Dr Milton Kutengule.
“The announcement by government that were now controlling officers gave us a false hope that we had in practice been promoted to S3/P3 grade.”
The DCs say government has been taking them “for granted as it does not stop raising our hopes.”
The pointed out that some three years ago, during a DCs conference, George Mkondiwa, the then secretary of local government and Ligomeka confirmed that indeed government had promoted all the DCs who were getting the minimum requirement.
And another conference held in Mangochi last December, the entire management of Ministry of Local Government “assured us that we would be promoted within three months to S3/P3, while directors serving in the councils would be promoted to S5/P5.”
The DCs said during the Mangochi conference, they were informed that Treasury had release K88 million to the ministry to kick-start the process but to date no DC has been promoted.
The DCs also accuse Ligomeka and Dakamau for abusing their positions to “arbitrary transfer” officers in bad books with them.
“Your Excellency, we find it strange that an officer serving in acting capacity, is sent to another duty station to act on some position he is acting in the other district while there are other officers of similar grades at the station.”
The DCs also inform the Head of State that the Local Authorities Service Commission (LASCOM) which was established to oversee human resource requirement of councils – responsible for the recruitment and discipline of council staff – was dissolved by Ligomeka and Dakamau “for no apparent reasons.”
According to the petition, when LASCOM was dissolved, both Ligomeka and Dakamau “took advantage to handpick people of their choice to manage strategic districts disregarding merit.”
They said the two recruited a Financial Analyst straight from school without following laid down procedures and placed such officers in the same grade of S5/p5 as DCs. These officers were placed under supervision of Director of Finance who in-turn are at grade P7 a junior rank.
“It was observed later that the whole reason for engaging new recruits from Polytechnic at this grade was that most of them were relations to high ranking people in the ministry like the former minister Goodall Gondwe.”
The petition request President Banda’s hand in promoting the deserving DCs and directors “in line with approved government establishment warrant that has been deliberately ignored for years without implementation because of evil intentions [of Dakamau and Ligomeka].”
They also want Ligomeka, Dakamau and a Mr Makonokaya to be taken out of Local Government ministry and be redeployed elsewhere, saying they are convinced that their continued stay in the ministry shall undermine President Banda’s efforts of developing the country, especially the rural area.
Nyasa Times independently verified with the 16 DCs who have signed the petition for the authenticity of the document and they confirmed signing but all opted not to have their names mentioned online media.
Ligomeka and Dakamau however could not comment on the allegations.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :