Officials from Thyolo district council have been accused of putting ghost workers on a public works programme that has drained government coffers up to K5 million.
Council chairman John Orima confirmed there is a financial report that is detailing how council officials, councillors and some traditional leaders swindled the government of K5 million.
He said the council will meet soon to chart the way forward on the allegations, dubbed Thyolo mini cashgate.
The report says only 1638 people worked for the public works programme in 2015 but the officials put the figure of those who worked at 2691, making the government lose up to K5 million.
The people were involved in aforestation projects among other projects in the hilly tea growing district.
People get K600 per day when they work in the government funded public works programme.
In Karonga, elected leaders have accused council officials of implementing development projects in secrecy. They have told the officials that democracy and decentralisation demand openness in such issues.
District commissioner has since apologised to councillors and members of parliament for some projects which took off without the knowledge of the elected leaders.
In Dowa, some traditional leaders have accused council officials of selling off without the knowledge of chiefs. The land in question is a market at Dowa Turn off. However, the district commissioner has feigned ignorance on the matter.