MBC top brass embezzle money in Mutharika’s funeral

New Malawi President Her Excellency Joyce Banda has surely got too much on her plate to cleanse the government machinery of corruption and dubious claims Nyasa Times has established.

As the whole nation is observing a 30-day mourning period for the fallen Malawi leader Bingu Wa Mutharika, some senior members at the national broadcaster, Malawi Broadcasting Corporation (MBC) are enriching themselves by making dubious claims of work not done.

Nyasa Timeshas uncovered a scam where some of MBC employees have claimed huge sums of money in the name of Mutharika’s funeral but have done no work on it.

Mutharika's body arrives at Sanjika in Blantyre

Documents and information in our possession indicate that MBC’s Manager responsible for Radio One Hamilton Chimala has received K180,000 on the pretext that he was to travel Lilongwe and Mzuzu where viewing was taking place. Chimala also claimed fuel for the same trip but the activity was not taken and the money has not been returned.

Chimala was supposed to leave for Lilongwe last Thursday, April 12 but was still in Blantyre until the weekend of that same week.

As a cover up, Chimala left for Lilongwe on Monday where he did nothing only to return to his base Blantyre on Tuesday.

According to members of the MBC Outside Broadcasting Team, Chimala was supposed to be in their team to Lilongwe and Mzuzu but he did not travel as per expected.

Apart from embezzling the tax payers’ money, Chimala is also being accused of unilaterally merging MBC Radio One and Two broadcasting as one channel following the announcement on the demise of President Mutharika. He never sought any clearance and guidance from his authorities, our investigations have revealed.

MBC’s head of administration Ronald Mateyu has not been spared in the scam. He is reported to have drawn allowed in the name of the State Funeral and travelled to Lilongwe to do personal matters. It is not known what an MBC administration boss was doing at a State Funeral in Lilongwe that is work related.

Several other senior MBC members are reported to have benefitted from Mutharika’s State Funeral.

Meanwhile, as the senior managers are milking the already thin cow, MBC, some members in the Finance Department have awarded themselves allowances in the name of the funeral although they are stationed at the state broadcaster headquarters.

When called for comment, Chimala and Mateyu declined to comment saying they were mourning Mutharika.

Both were seen and promoted into their positions as DPP loyalists through former Director General Bright Malopa who was fired last week by President Banda.

Nyasa Times was unable to get a comment from new MBC boss Dr Benson Tembo as he was reported to be in a meeting.

Under former Director General Bright Malopa, plundering of state resources was the order of the day at MBC.

An investigation into how  Malopa, Director of News and Programmes Chimwemwe Banda and Director of Finance Felistas Chikusilo embezzled millions of Kwachas for an MBC merger was swept under the carpet by the Anti-Corruption Bureau.

Malawi Government financial regulations say that staff cannot claim allowances for doing their regular job at their work station but this is not the case at MBC.

Her Excellency Banda has warned people against corruption. She has said that her government will encourage financial prudence and accountability in order to safeguard the country’s already depleted financial resources.

President Banda has won a lot of favours from both local and international financial players for her commitment to resolve Malawi’s rampant problems including the shortages in foreign exchange, fuel and sugar among many others.

Mutharika's body arrives at Sanjika in Blantyre

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