Reyneck Matemba: ACB is not aware of Mzimba District Council’s alleged MK10 million expenditure

The cashgate-style looting of Malawi’s public coffers continues as now there emerges a new incident of such looting in Mzimba district where the District Council spent MK10 million of Development Fund rehabilitating schools that do not exist, Malawi news reported on Saturday, 29th April 2017.

According to the publication, the Mbelwa District Council carried various school rehabilitation projects at, among others, Sadzu CDSS, Wateleka CDSS, Mtangatanga CDSS, Chasato CDSS, and St Joseph school where it spent MK10 million.

The financial records on how the MK10 million was spent shows that half the amount was for transportation and the other half was used to buy materials.

But the area’s councilor, Andrew Tembo, was quick to fault the district council accusing the council of looting public funds saying that Wateleka CDSS and Kamwazeka schools do not exist.

Tembo said: “The truth of the matter is that there is no school at Kamwazeka, I know this because I come from Pelekezi Ward where the alleged schools are said to exist.”

Tembo said that he reported the council’s suspicious expenditure to Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB).

Speaking to the publication, ACB’s Deputy Director General Reyneck Matemba said that all he knows is that Mzimba District Council is under investigations for allegedly misappropriating LDF funds and knows nothing about the alleged MK10 million expenditures as at the time.

“We do not have information regarding that issue right now, what I know is that the bureau is investigating Mzimba District Council over alleged misappropriation of LDF funds,” said Matemba.

It is alleged that Mr Thomas Chirwa—the district’s District Commissioner—and the Member of Parliament for Mzimba Solola, Hon. Jacob Hara, are behind the suspicious expenditures.

This is not the first time that suspected corruption activities have been reported in a council. Not long ago, ACB arrested Mwanza District Commissioner Jack Ngulube and Lunchenza Municipality councillors for suspected corruption activities.

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