The Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development has sent on forced leave Luchenza Municipal Council chief executive officer (CEO) Andrew Misomali to pave way for investigations into alleged abuse of office.
The ministry’s spokesperson Muhlabase Mughogho, speaking in a telephone interview on Monday, confirmed the development, saying the council was served with the letter over a week ago.
“It is true that he has been sent on leave. We sent the letter containing the notice before July 23 this year. Basically, it is to allow investigations into issues of absenteeism from work and maladministration which were made against him by council members,” said Mughogho.
Efforts to speak to the municipality’s mayor Harold Kaliwo on the development proved futile as he said he was in a meeting with ministry officials.
However, issues at the council date back to May this year when angry councillors and chiefs mobilised community members to throw out Misomali for alleged financial mismanagement and poor administration.
The main commotion started from an emergency meeting that the elected representatives and traditional leaders held where they unanimously agreed to remove the CEO who at that time had worked at the council for barely two months.
In an earlier interview with The Nation at that time, Kaliwo justified the move by the council members saying it was the only way to save the council.
“As members of the council, we have come to this conclusion because the CEO is involved in gross financial mismanagement. Since he arrived councillors have never received their honoraria. Besides, he single-handedly presented to the ministry a budget that council members had rejected,” Kaliwo was quoted in The Nation.
Luchenza is one of the country’s two municipal councils. The other one is Kasungu.