YAS grills PS Mwandidya over Mzuzu Youth Centre project K30.8m abuse

Youth and Society (YAS) has asked the Ministry of Labour, Youth, Sports, and Manpower Development—specifically principal secretary Joseph Mwandidya—to explain how he, as a controlling officer, and several other officials managed to swindle public money in allowances for meetings that never happened over the Mzuzu Youth Centre Project amounting to MK30 818 487.

Joseph Mwandidya: Asked to explain on stalled Mzuzu Youth Centre project.

YAS wrote Mwandidya a letter which was also copied to the secretary to treasury, the attorney general and the minister responsible dated February 8, 2018 to explain their positions; but, after an ultimatum of seven days, no response emerged.

In the letter, which Nyasa Times has in possession, Mwandidya and several other employees are reported to have drawn funds largely inform of allowances amounting to MK30 818 487 meant for preliminary works towards the construction of Mzuzu Youth Centre.

YAS argues that as a controlling, Mwandidya, who authorised the transactions on the 10th of October 2017, should have borne in mind “the responsibility to ensure that any public expense within the Ministry complies with the statutory provisions,” according to s.10 of the Public Finance Management Act.

Among others, the meetings—which never took place—were ‘Consolidation of Project Meeting’ on 9 October, 2017, ‘Development of Preliminary Designs’ meeting, ‘Development of Detailed Preliminary Design Scheme’ meeting, ‘Bid Evaulation’ meeting, ‘Other requirements for all activities planned’ meeting and ‘Site Handover to Contractor’ activity.

Also, YAS demands for explanations whether payments whether payments amounting to 2,828.487 and MK 3,750,000 were paid to Mzuzu Filing Station and PVHES respectively as “Outstanding payments for fuel and Vehicle Hire” and Mwandidya ensured that all necessary precautions were taken to ensure that all expenditure is applied to the specific purposes for which it is appropriated in terms of s. 10 (1) (e) and (i) read together with s. 8(f) of the Public Finance Management Act.

Among others, the meetings—which never took place—were ‘Consolidation of Project Meeting’ on 9 October, 2017, ‘Development of Preliminary Designs’ meeting, ‘Development of Detailed Preliminary Design Scheme’ meeting, ‘Bid Evaulation’ meeting, ‘Other requirements for all activities planned’ meeting and ‘Site Handover to Contractor’ activity.

Also, YAS demands for explanations whether payments whether payments amounting to 2,828.487 and MK 3,750,000 were paid to Mzuzu Filing Station and PVHES respectively as “Outstanding payments for fuel and Vehicle Hire” and Mwandidya ensured that all necessary precautions were taken to ensure that all expenditure is applied to the specific purposes for which it is appropriated in terms of s. 10 (1) (e) and (i) read together with s. 8(f) of the Public Finance Management Act.

“Further, in responding to the above, furnish us with evidence of a total breakdown of how the total amount of MK 30,818, 487.00 meant for Mzuzu Youth Centre project was expended. Please also supply copies of all relevant documentation regarding the above-mentioned meetings and transactions in support of your explanations, including but not limited to actual attendance forms for participants to these meetings, minutes of the said meetings, and/or records of the meetings including pictures, conference bookings where these meetings took place and proof of payments to service providers,” reads the letter signed by the organization’s executive director, Charles Kajoloweka.

It adds: “As you may be aware, all public funds and resources held by your Ministry to which you are a controlling officer, make up a public trust fund which is held on public trust as per our Constitution as well as the doctrine of public trust. We therefore wish to remind you that the possible abuse of public resources as cited above is in contravention to the doctrine of public trust, the Malawi Constitution as well as Public Finance Management Act and the law generally.”

The letter asks Mwandidya and his cronies to “reverse the transactions and give back to Government on behalf of the people of Malawi any benefit you and the others have so acquired. Precisely, we demand the immediate refund of all the public funds you and other officials from your Ministry illegally and/or improperly received.”

YAS has also asked the Treasury to to indicate whether they have any intention to intervene in terms of s.11 as read together with s.87 of the Public Finance Management Act.

It has also requested the Attorney General whether “he will pursue the individuals who may be established to have misappropriated funds with a view to recovering what rightfully belong to government for the sole benefit of the people of Malawi and the youths in particular in this case,” writes Kajoloweka demanding a response within seven days.

Mzuzu Youth Centre Project, which started 12 years ago, is one of the many projects in the country that have stalled and yet billions of taxpayers money continue to be embezzled.

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Nyadaufe
Guest

A JC holder to be Principal Secretary. New Malawi standards.

Hatton
Guest
Hatton

Abale ndinena ndifunse; is YAS a northern region organisation or a national one? Kajoloweka has never queried anything that is not northern region related.
For once I support, MCP policy of denying this region any developments on account of their meagre population. Go deeper Kusamba Dzozi.

Charlie Hebdo
Guest
Charlie Hebdo

You can’t get more myopic than this.

Ida
Guest
Ida

Was the maize gate issue something to do with Northern Region? Shame on u for being such a racist

Ida
Guest
Ida

Were the maizegate and Bluenight donations Northern Region issues? Or u r just being racist?

Cashgate1
Guest
Cashgate1

Thumb up, go ministry by ministry. Lots of thievery being done to public funds.

Jona
Guest

Day light robbery they have to pay back

Trevor
Guest
Trevor

The MP should also b ashamed of sleeping on the job, he was there when funds were being allocated to the ghost project for the past five years but did nothing to follow up. Mr kajoloweka please ask the Hon Mp to explain as well

ndele
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ndele

where was this mess before???????????????????? quite fishy ah

Chatonda
Guest
Chatonda

This is how Malawi must take leaders to book and hold them accountable.
Mwandidya is a relation to his own minister Francis Kasaila and they both abuse government money lije sweet .
Please let us help Kajoloweka take these thieves to court.

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