CHIRADZULU-(MaraviPost)- Chiradzulu District Commissioner (DC) Memory Kaleso, and the Council Chief Accountant were on Friday sent on a three-month paid suspension due to suspected misallocation of MK170 million from the Council’s coffers.
In a communique signed by Secretary for Local Government and Rural Development Kiswell Dakamau, the suspension is effective August 4, 2017.
The memo, made available to The Maravi Post, states that the two face charges failure to seek approval from the Council or the National Local Government Finance Committee (NLGFC) to use the funds.
Kaleso’s suspension comes barely several months after the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Councilors revolted against the D.C., and who later sealed her office.
“It has been reported to this Ministry that you authorized the expenditure of funds meant for development of Chiradzulu District Council amounting to MK170 million to cater for ORT operations, as a financial year 2016/2017 was coming to an end based on alleged fears that Treasury would withdraw the funding.
“I would like to inform you that the Minister, in exercise of his powers in line with Section 11 (a) (2) of the 2010 Amended Local Government Act, has decided to grant you three-months paid leave, effective August 4, 2017, pending further investigations into the matter,” concludes the Ministry’s suspension statement to D.C. Kaleso.
The suspension letter follows the warning the Ministry issued in March this year that threatened to dissolve the Chiradzulu District Council on the heels of an impasse in which DPP ward Councilors brocaded Kaleso’s office. The Councilors accused the D.C. of working against their interests.
Local Government Ministry spokesperson Muhlabase Mughogho, confirmed Kaleso’s suspension and said that investigations will be conducted.
Mughogho assured the public that the Ministry was working tirelessly to address Council’s’ fraud and corruption through training reinforcement and suspensions of those involved in the financial scandals.
Kaleso expressed surprised of suspension reports, that she was hearing from the media as no formal communications had reached her.
She however, confirmed of being told about the coming of investigators to the Council ?on Monday, August 7?. She said that she will not comment further on the matter.
The country’s district councils have been embroiled in wide-spread allegations financial fraud, irregularities with social commentators calling for Government to tighten its fiscal management if the local governors.