Village Headman Kamwendo of Sub Traditional Authority Ndanga in Mulanje has been arrested and is answering charges of obtaining money under false pretence after it transpired that he diverted funds amounting to K792 000 meant to benefit the needy in the ongoing Social Cash Transfer being spearheaded by Oxfam in that district.
According to Phalombe Police spokesperson Augustus Nkhwazi, whose jurisdiction covers Kamwendo village, the chief connived with some members of the village development committee (VDC) in the act in which some households were apportioned two ration cards instead of one so that he could personally benefit from proceeds from the other card.
He was arrested last week Friday after police investigation.
Said Nkhwazi: “This happened between December last year and January this year. Oxfam got a tip on what the traditional leader was doing and [it] engaged police to investigate the matter. After investigations, it transpired that the chief whose real name is Patrick Gama was indeed involved in the fraud.”
Nkhwazi added that in December last year, Oxfam was giving out K17 600 per household and the chief allegedly got himself K340 000 meant for at least 19 households while in January the organisation increased the household allocation to K28 000 and the village head went away with K452 000 for 16 households, making a sum total of K792 000.
He however said, Kamwendo pleaded guilty to have diverted funds amounting to K151 000 and not K792 000 as reported.
He has since been given bail by Phalombe First Grade Magistrate Damson Banda.