LILONGWE-(MaraviPost) – The cash mismanagement problems in Malawi continue to bedevil the nation as now emerges allegations that Lilongwe Water Board (LWB) made a questionable financial support amounting to MK10 million to the governing Democratic Progressive Party (DPP)’s southern region blue night which was held in November, 2016.
The utility body even went further to make a MK1.15 million payment to the state spy agency, National Intelligence Services (NIS) through one of its officers.
The questionable expenditure comes amid reports that Lilongwe residents have been suffering from persistent dry taps for the past months.
According to Malawi News, on November 1, 2016, the DPP’s Secretary General Office requested LWB’s Chief Executive Officer, Alfonso Chikuni to support the Blue Night gala which took place at Sanjika Palace in Blantyre.
Eventually, LWB released MK10 million through cheque number 012262 towards the event even though the party’s platinum table was pegged at MK1.5 million.
The paper further said that the board received also a request from NIB amounting to MK150, 000 for its five officers’ payment in October 2016 but LWB released MK1.15 million.
The requisition payment dated November 1, 2016 bared that the Evans Malewa, one of the bureau’s listed officers benefited from questionable disbursements.
Not only that the board also allocated fuel amounting to MK12 million to its middle managers for outside trips for the month of January.
The water supplier’s spokesperson Bright Sonani has defended both payments arguing that there was no limit on request made to the board from any organizations or individuals.
Sonani disputed claims that NIS officer in question did not actually receive the fuel but rather were used as conduits to get funds out of the system to fund fuel requirement for DPP functionaries.
He added that the board at times uses other government departments or agencies to provide services with special arrangement including Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with NIS.
“LWB has in the past engaged the Malawi Police Service and the Human resources department for our functions’ reviews as a service. So, such payment to the bureau was in that order hence the release of MK4.14.
“On fuel claim disbursement, that is not true. According to our records all LWB’s staff, 29 in total, who are allocated fuel got their allocations for the month of January , 2017 as per the allocated monthly amount, and the total came up to MK12 million which is wrongly connected to DPP functionaries”, said Sonani.
But DPP Spokesperson Francis Kasaila hinted that the party did not force any once including the board to support its event.
Kasaila disclosed that request letters were sent to all parastatals, private organizations and individuals arguing that LWB did the offer on their own and that anyone could support with any amount that they were comfortable with.
Cases of mismanagement of state funds have been on the increase recently. Just few weeks ago, Mzuzu City Council paid its officers double allowances for a single function, the Malawi Law Commission paid double retirement packages for its officers, and now the cash-strapped LWB funds a political party gala with a whopping MK10 million.