Atleast K100 million has gone missing at Nsanje district council while K32 million has vanished in Karonga just days after an expert called on the suspension of the funds following their continued abuse.
Nsanje District Commissioner Rena Chavula said the missing money was for projects under the constituency development fund and the district development fund.
“We have already informed the ministry of Local government and the Local government finance committee on the missing money. I hope they will send us external auditors because the internal auditors have not helped us,” she said.
She said she will inform a full council meeting on June 18 of the missing money.
In Karonga, the chairman of the finance and audit committee Patrick Kishombe has blamed the council officials of delaying tactics to present a report of the missing K26m development funds.
“The failure to give us the report is raising suspicion, more questions than answers,” he said.
But the director of finance at the council Patrick Kumvenji said he would be presenting the report in the next council meeting, saying the delay was because he was on leave.
This comes barely days after a Chancellor College law expert Gaston Kamchezera asked the government to suspend the disbursement of the constituency develnpment fund, the local development fund and the district development fund until proper measures have been put in place to protect the development funds from abuse.
Government spokesperson Nicholas Dausi dismissed this call as unrealistic.
Meanwhile, Minister of Local Government and Rural Development Kondwani Nankhumwa has admitted that there is indeed high levels of corruption and abuse of funds in local councils.
Nankhumwa has attributed the challenge to lack of capacity, disclosing that Finance Ministry is deploying 10 internal auditors to his ministry to enhance public finance management in councils in order to address challenges.
He also said said Local Government Ministy plans to fill all critical vacancies in councils, including those of directors, procurement officers, internal auditors and finance officers in the 2018/19 financial year.
“This will go a long way in improving the capacity situation in councils,” said Nankhumwa.
He said government has allocated K1 billion in the proposed national budget towards the exercise.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :