After Nyasa Times revealed Malawi Communications Regulatory Authority (Macra) boss Godfrey Itaye was canavassing at the Office of the President and Cabinet officials to influence renewal of his expired contract, four board members, two Principal Secretaries were ropped in between October and November claiming double rates in international travel allowancess.
Board Chair Rev. Alex Maulana, board members Shindi Mwala, Mangadzuwa, Ms Mwale, Secretary for Information Rita Maganga, Controller of Statutory Corporation Stewart Ligomeka paid themselves hundreds of thousands of US dollars in unauthorized double rates, Nyasa Times can reveal.
Itaye is alleged to have taken the board members as a coverup paying for all their five star hotel expenses in Geneva and Dubai for five weeks ‘tour of duty’.
He paid large sums is US dollars to the officials to influence them to endorse and recommend his contract at Macra, where employee morale is at zero.
Last week, the Department of Human Resources at Capital Hill summoned Itaye twice demanding an explanation on why he claimed double allowances of 900 US dollars per day for 35 days( five weeks) for himself and all the officials without OPC authorization.
Documents seen from FDH bank by Nyasa Times show Itaye was initially paid US 29000 dollars for the first two weeks while the boardchair/ members and government officils claimed 19500US each as spending allowances yet their hotel and meal bills were taken care of by Itaye.
OPC sources in Lilongwe said former Minister of Information Nicholas Dausi verbally approved the Geneva and Dubai trips after being sweetened by Itaye who has been funneling millions of dollars from the communication regulatory body.
While Itaye was on a splashing spree, President Peter Mutharika reshuffled his cabinet, replacing Dausi with no nonsense Chiradzulu strongman Henry Mussa who is set to clean up the mess created by Itaye at Macra.
Secretary for Information Erica Maganga confirmed to Nyasa Times to have accomponed some board member to Geneva on official duties but declined to comment of the alleged allowances, accommodation and meals scam in return for Itayes contract renewal.
Board Chair Rev. alex Maulana also confirmed having traveled with other board members but refused to shed any light on the claimed double allowances.
Accommodation receipts from the Dubai hotel in possession of Nyasa Times which were referred to Rev. Maulana were dismissed as invading his ‘privacy’.
Corporate Governance commentator and University of Malawi lecturer said the revelations do not reflect well on President Mutharika’s government fight on corruption.
Macra has been in the media for all the wrong reasons after revelations of stinking rotten corruption and looting. A forensic audit was instituted after the Anti Corruption Bureau camped at Macra for almost three weeks to get to the bottom of the rotten cancerous corruption.
ACB director general Reyneck Matemba said the investigations were still ongoing,saying his body lacked resources for his officers to travel to Blantyre to conclude the case.
He however refused to comment on allegations of arm twisting by Itaye and a powerful former Information Minister to throw the Macra corruption under the carpet.
The regulatory body has completly lost its mandate and responsibility of regulating the communication sector.
Newly appointed Information Minister Henry Mussa visted Macra House in Blantyre last week as part of his familirasation tour.
President Mutharika is yet to appoint a new Macra board.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :