Councillors in Malawi’s northern border district of Karonga together with chiefs and Members of Parliament have stop attending government meetings that are being conducted at the council as a way of persuading government to extend its cash gate investigations to the district level.
Stakeholders in the district feel Karonga was amongst the district where looting of public funds occurred at local level.
Speaking during the meeting organized by the councillors with the aim of briefing traditional leaders and Members of Parliament on the plunder of resources which has been described as the main developmental barrier in the district, the Chairperson for Karonga council who is also a councillor for Chilanga ward Patrick Kishombe complained that the district secretariats have been hiding to disclose the financial status of the district.
“it is of great concern that the purpose of having councillors in the country to bring transparency and accountability in public funds is failing to be achieved in Karonga as for six months in office the district secretariats is failing to explain to us the councillors the financial status of the district and the revenue generated at district level,” said Kishombe.
Adding that “we have tried to organize meetings with the district commissioner, writing letters so that we should have knowledge on how the council work and the status of finance at district level to see where we can start but to no avail. This is a clear indication that corruption is happening.”
“We are uspecting government funds are being misused hence government need to investigate ,” said Kishombe.
He revealed that “just on our findings the district claims that they have three bank accounts while the council have almost seven accounts, they also told us that they have over 150 workers but there is not even 100 workers at the council, so government should put an initiative to investigate cash gate at the district level for us to be assured that everything is clean.”
During the same meeting Traditional Authority Mwilang’ombe representative Msiska revealed that Nyungwe constituency has denied to receive the 2014-2015constituency development fund demanding the explanation on the missing of over K5 million for 2012-2013constituency development fund budget which was allocated to the constituency.
“It is so bad that the council is failing to explain how the MK5,520,416 of 2012-2013 CDF has been utilized in my area and we are also surprised that in the council CDF expenditure final report is indicating that the money was invested in certain development activities within Nyungwe constituency while nothing is on the ground and when we ask them to show us the development they are saying they keep on giving us excuses,” said Msiska.