Some 59 local leaders in Lilongwe, led by senior village head Kamphata, have filed summons at the High Court in Lilongwe demanding a refund of K108 million from Lilongwe South East parliamentarian Willard Gwengwe .
The legislator is being accused of failing to account for the funds meant for Constituency Development Fund (CDF) between 2012 and 2018.
In a civil case No 871 of 2018 filed on October 23, the group has given the legislator 28 days to satisfy the claim or file a defence with the court.
In a letter from Gwengwe to lawyer for the claimants, Eric Dickson Salima, dated September 20 2018, the legislator promises to provide a detailed account of how the funds were used but requested for an extension of four weeks to enable him to find all necessary information.
Says Gwengwe in the letter: “I will have to search and dig some of the information from archives of the office of the Lilongwe district commissioner…There are no audit queries either from the office of Lilongwe district commissioner or even the Public Accounts Committee of Malawi Parliament. All is well.”
But the claimants, through their lawyer, declined the request for an extension, according to their letter to Gwengwe, dated September 21 2018.
In a telephone interview yesterday, Gwengwe first asked for more time then said he needs to go to court on Monday to be furnished with more information about the summons.
“But take it from me, this is all politics and I know some of my competitors are behind this. They just want to de-campaign me,” he said.
According to the summons, a total of K108 million was given to the constituency in the last seven years but there has been no development done using the funds.
The list of the claimants include senior group village heads Malaza, Kapedzela, Nthethe, Funachina, Chinkhombe, Kuchitala, Nankumba, Nchakulu , Kalumbi, Khuzi, Nthesa, Ntondo , Thondolo and Chauwa.