BLANTYRE-(MaraviPost)—Abuse of funds in government departments is increasingly becoming a norm with the latest being the abuse of World Bank funds under the Skills Development Project (SDP) at the National Council for Higher Education (Nche).Sources indicate that some officers have been drawing huge fuel and airtime allowances without approval of management and the council.
According to the Daily Times, some officers drew huge fuel allowances ranging from 250 litres to 100 litres and airtime ranging from K70,000 to K15,000 for a one week local meeting at Bingu International Conference Centre (Bicc) in Lilongwe.
The said abuse of funds has forced Deputy Chief Executive Officer, Golden Msilimba, to resign.
In his letter date July 21 2016 addressed to Council chair, Msilimba, former Dean of faculty of education at Mzuzu University spills the beans and cites the abuse of the donor funds as one of the many reasons for his resignation.
“There has been an increasing desire to abuse World Bank funds by a few individuals. Council previously deliberated on the abuse of fuel and airtime by the secretariat on 29th January 2016 and directed the secretariat to immediately stop the illegal payments. Despite the condemnation from the Council on abuse of World Bank funding, the secretariat has devised new ways of benefitting from the World Bank project,” reads the letter in part.
In his letter he says if an officer is travelling to Blantyre on a trip funded by the organisation, he gets K70, 000 worth of fuel while to Mangochi one gets K55, 181 fuel and K10, 000 airtime.
“If this is compared with a World Bank workshop which occurred in Lilongwe at Bicc recently, one would clearly see an abuse of funds where the fuel estimator which is normally used or World Bank rates were suspended in totality,” Msilimba writes.
He alleges that some officers did not even attend the meeting but received the fuel while others were not available full time.
Airtime received for the one week meeting was as follows: Chief Executive Officer K70 000.00; Corporate Services ManagerK50 000; Policy Research and Planning Manager K40,000; Procurement Specialist K30 000; ICT Specialist K20 000; Human Resources Manager K20,000; a Mr Chikoti K50,000; a Dr. Khembo K40,000; Assistant Accountant K20 000.00; Senior Personal Assistant K20,000; Personal Assistant K20,000; landline K80 000; two drivers each got K15,000 airtime.
“The basis for the allocations cannot be justified. The discrepancies between ORT and the World Bank payments cannot be explained and this leaves many people speculating. Even some officers who were not on duty were paid,” Msilimba says.
Nche Chief Executive Officer, Mathildah Chithila-Munthali, asked for more time before commenting saying she had to arrange for a meeting for “correct and right information.”