Malawi Economic Justice Network (Mejn) has called for a nationwide audit of district councils following allegations of abuse of Community Development Fund (CDF).
Mejn executive director Dalitso Kubalasa was reacting to a recent financial report which revealed funding for nonexistent schools in Mzimba Solola and Mzimba South East constituencies.
The council allegedly spent K5 million on transporting materials to ghost institutions, including Kamwazeka and Chasato community day secondary schools (CDSSs)in Mzimba Solola.
“Mejn carried out budget tracking in both LDF and CDF. These have revealed several shortfalls in terms of transparency and accountability in the way the transactions are done. Auditing the councils will bring transparency and accountability in the way the CDF projects are run,” he said.
Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development spokesperson Muhlabase Mughogho said it would be important to get findings of CDF audits conducted by the Central Audit Unit in 20 districts.
Mzimba South District education manager Fanwell Chiwowa said the bogus schools could have resulted from typing errors or misnaming of the projects.
Mzimba Solola legislator Jacob Hara said he was implicated by his political rivals, including a councillor who is eyeing for his seat in 2019.
“I verified with the council. Instead of typing Watereka Primary School, it was written CDSS. Similarly, Kamwazeka CDSS is supposed to be Kamwazeka Bridge. Chasato School is under construction, but the district education manager does not know.”
District commissioner Thomas Chirwa denied conniving with members of parliament, saying: “I have instructed our procurement officer to check if it is true or not.” n