Nsanje District Council has denied assertions by Leader of Opposition in Parliament Kondwani Nankhumwa that the council misappropriated on Covid-19 response funds.
At a news conference on Thursday at Parliament Building in Lilongwe on the alleged general mismanagement of Covid-19 funds, Nankhumwa alleged that Nsanje District Council’s allocation disappeared immediately after the funds were deposited into council’s bank account.
The council has since called on Nankhumwa and other politicians and the media to verify information before sharing the information.
In a statement released on Friday February 12, 2021, and signed by council chairperson Andrew Piriminta and council members Ramuuzani Mahomed and senior chief Malemia, the council refutes Nankhumwa’s claims.
“Nsanje District Council would like to refute the claims made available public to domain as the said Covid-19 funds did not disappear as per the allegation by Honourable Nankhumwa,” reads the statement.
The council clarifies that the High Court had put restrictions (garnishee order) to all Nsanje District Council Accounts, including the DDF Account , into which the Covid-19 funds and other development funds were deposited.
” Following this order, Full Council immediately met and came up with resolutions that helped settle the matter with the subsequent lifting of the garnishee order,” the statement reads.
The council says after its submission of its financial reports on the Covid-19 funds to the National Local Government Finance Committee and eventually, to the Presidential Taskforce on Covid-19, the council is not among the list of those said to have misappropriated the funds.
The council also says following its submission it has received the third tranche of Covid-19 funds including special funds for procurement of masks.
Opposition leader Nankhumwa, who is a member of the Presidential Task Force on Covid-19, further alleged that said Lilongwe District Council was allocated K85 million allocation for Covid-19 response with half spent on allowances while in Zomba K30 million was diverted to other issues.
Nankhumwa, the Mulanje Central legislator, has asked government to launch a forensic audit to assess the extent of the abuse.
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