Government has criticised some officers in the Malawi Police Service (MPS) for conniving with officials in district and town councils to steal money meant for the implementation of Public Works Programmes (PWP).
Government, through Local Development Fund’s (LDF) Malawi Social Action Fund (Masaf IV), is implementing regular and emergency PWP interventions to reduce shocks and vulnerability among households affected by the 2015 floods and the subsequent dry spell in 2016.
However, revelations have emerged of how the councils, which are coordinating safety net systems, are abusing the resources owing to a number of procedural and principle loopholes.
These revelations have forced LDF to conduct review meetings to find solutions to the problem of funds pilferage.
But Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development chief director Dorothy Banda said the “rot is becoming deep-seated” that even the law enforcers are now aiding and abetting the “rot through sharing unpaid wages with [council] staff.”
Said Banda: “Government will not condone the decay in morals and the unethical conduct of council members at whatever level. I would like to reiterate government’s commitment to root out corruption and theft by public servants and assure you that nobody will be spared. Once caught, the law will take its course.”
She said government is considering boosting human resource at the councils, particularly through provision of experienced secretariat staff that will support the councils in their quest to develop and provide quality services.
One of the district commissioners (DC) present at the meeting, who declined to be named, decried the tendency by some monitoring and evaluation officers and directors of public works to personalise the projects.
He said this tendency contributes to the entrenchment of corruption in the implementation of the projects.