Karonga District Council has sent five senior managers on leave to pave the way for a 14-day inquiry into alleged abuse of resources at Karonga District Hospital.
They include district nursing officer Maloni Nyirenda, procurement officer Stuart Chirambo, administrator Alex Chirombo, maintenance officer McDonald Kamwera and human resource officer Mavuto Kawonga.
The decision follows a strike ground workers staged on Tuesday to demand their sacking on allegations of poor workmanship and lack of transparency.
The striking workers petitioned district commissioner Richard Hara against secrecy, asking why the hospital borrows ambulance tyres from Rumphi District Hospital when it gets funding every month.
“Procurement requisitions are given to departments, but materials are not purchased. More bills of suppliers are accumulated, yet funding is allocated each and every month,” reads the petition in part.
They also bemoaned acute shortage of essential tools, including trolleys, mops, security torches and leather boots.
Yesterday, Hara sent the five on “an administrative leave” after a fruitless three-hour meeting with the protestors on Tuesday.
Nyirenda refused to comment on the shake-up.
But council chairperson Ernest Mwalughali confirmed the shake-up.
“We have indeed sent them on leave. Further, we have formed a committee comprising heads of various sectors to conduct an inquiry into the allegation. After 14 days, we will get a report and decide what to do,” he said.
Some ground workers told The Nation that they will resume work as they wait for results of the investigation on September 14. n