Nkhata Bay District Council has dismissed claims that it has a fixed deposit bank account where it deposits chiefs’ honoraria before paying beneficiaries.
Village head Gwazeka alleged that the council contributes to delays in paying chiefs’ honoraria because it keeps the money in its fixed deposit account to earn interest before paying to the traditional leaders.
“Council officials use the interest for their personal benefit,” alleged the chief.
Gwazeka said sometimes chiefs stay for up to seven months without being paid their honoraria.
But Nkhata Bay district commissioner (DC) Rodney Simwaka dismissed the allegation, saying the council is not party to the delays in paying chiefs’ honoraria.
“Chiefs’ honoraria are provided by government through the council and sometimes chiefs are paid late due to delayed funding disbursement,” he said.
Simwaka said it was unfortunate that some chiefs fault the council for the delay. The DC said the allegation is due to lack of knowledge by the chiefs on the council’s operations.
“The council does not even have any fixed account with any bank,” he said.
Simwaka advised the concerned chiefs to lodge their complaints with the council’s secretariat to appreciate the causes of delays in the payment of their honoraria.