PAC starts quizzing Malawi City Council CEOs

Malawi Public Accounts Committee (PAC) has started putting to test the wits of Chief Executive Officers and District commissioners to explain queries which were brought up by the Auditor General of the National Audit Office of Malawi.

Through his report on Accounts of the City, Town and District Councils for the year ended June 30th of 2006, 2007, 2008 the office of the Auditor General identified several anomalies that ranged from abuse of resources, use of collected funds which disappeared along the way.

Leading the Committee is the PAC Chairperson Beatrice Mwangonde while Auditor General Reckford Kampanje is leading the Malawi’s Supreme Audit Institution NAO team.

Mmangisa: Sent back

The committee has started the hearing on a rather disappointing note after a team from Lilongwe City Council led by its Chief Executive Officer Kelvin Mmangisa was sent back for failing to meet the committee’s requirements of providing all necessary documentations before the committee.

The committee required Mmangisa to bring answers on why amounts totalling to K30million collected from market fees in 2006 to 2009 remain unaccounted for and were not banked.

The committee also brought up the Auditor General’s observation that licence fees totalling to K11million collected between 2005 and 2008 also was not accounted for.

The period under question was when late Professor Donton Mkandawire was the Chief Executive Officer.

After a lengthy debate over the issue which came apparent that the abuse was done before Mmangisa became the City’s Chief Executive, the Committee decided to send back the City team to prepare their responses effectively by including documentary evidence of the queries.

In his brief comment, Mmangisa mentioned of having invited auditors to take stock what he was taking over as newly appointed CEO in 2009 and that led to arrests and interdiction of several members of staff involved in the racket.

He also hinted that all payments are now handled by the First Merchant Bank (FMB) who have opened paying points at the City Council’s premises in Lilongwe and several markets meaning that City staff no longer keep money for long before banking. This is in respect of market fees while city rates payments are only done directly through any FMB branch.

Mmangisa is one of the few successful City Council CEOs in Malawi whose efforts to delivery top class services have been dwarfed by the political interference from the then ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) whose cadets roughed him up on several occasions accusing him of supporting People’s Party whose founder is the current President Mrs Joyce Banda.

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