Mulanje district commissioner (DC) Fred Movete says beneficiaries of deceased estates, whose money was allegedly misappropriated, will have to wait longer for their problem to be sorted out as investigations into the alleged plunder of over K18 million ($32727) deceased estate funds at the council continues.
The DC was speaking on Friday in response to continued outcry from some beneficiaries who are reportedly failing to access their money due to suspected misappropriation of money allegedly championed by an accounts clerk handling minor beneficiaries’ accounts at the deceased estates office.
Sources say earlier this year, the suspect disappeared after rumours that auditors had discovered a shortage of over K15 million ($27272) drawn from several beneficiaries’ accounts, and the figure has since risen to above K18 million ($32727).
Movete said coupled with the revision of school fees in government secondary schools, many beneficiaries whose money was stolen are likely to face more challenges as most of them wanted to use the money for school fees.
“Already they have been complaining to us since the scandal was discovered early this year and now with the revision of school fees the outcry is even louder,” said Movete.
The district council has since resorted to using locally generated funds to pay fees and provide learning materials to some of the beneficiaries as an interim measure.
Commenting on the issue, an accounts clerk responsible for major deceased estate accounts at the council, Oscar Lijenda, said some beneficiaries claim their accounts were closed before they had withdrawn all the funds.
He said the district council’s deceased estates office has over 240 beneficiaries currently known to be affected by the plunder.