Mzuzu City Council (MCC) secretariat has rescinded its position that it had spent about K14 million ($23,736.5) of the K1.4 billion ($2,373,650) allocated to road projects. The council has now put the expenditure at K8 million ($13,563.7).
In the 2015/16 National Budget, the council was allocated K1.4 billion for construction of tarmac roads despite the Ministry of Finance, Economic Planning and Development having reservations about the council’s capacity to manage big projects.
Following the allocation, a full council meeting approved roads that were to be upgraded to bitumen.
In August this year, government released K1 billion for construction of the roads, but Mzuzu City mayor William Mkandawire, member of Parliament (MP) Leonard Njikho and councillors questioned an expenditure of about K14 million when the projects had not commenced.
The council was puzzled by inclusion of some components that had nothing to do with road projects.
The mayor and other members asked for a report from secretariat, suspecting abuse of the funds.
However, when the council met on Tuesday, a new amount was presented, arriving at K8 million.
Speaking in an interview, Mkandawire said the new figure makes sense as it is on the lower side.
He said:“It was shocking for secretariat to produce an expenditure of about K14 million when the project had not yet commenced.
“The secretariat mixed expenditure for the road projects with expenditures for other projects, hence, the bloated figure.” n