Top three bosses at Small and Medium Enterprises Development Institute (Smedi) have been summoned to a disciplinary hearing on July 13 2016, almost a year after an audit revealed discrepancies in fuel and telephone allowance claims.
The summons come after the trio received six months contract extension beginning March this year pending their assessment for possible renewal.
In an interview yesterday, Smedi board chairperson Betty Chinyamunyamu confirmed the summons, but refused to shed more light, saying it would be premature to pre-empt and let alone talk to the media about internal matters.
She said: “The matter you are raising is an internal process and like I indicated before, it is not the right time to start giving information before these processes are completed.
“These are normal processes. Where there are any claims of allegations, you have to undergo those formal processes and it is premature to speak to the media because things are happening. When the matter is concluded, then we can talk.”
However, in earlier interview, Smedi chief executive officer Charles Kazembe said the payments in question were approved by the board of trustees. But when The Nation asked Chinyamunyamu, she said she could not talk before the matter is concluded.
In July 2015, an audit report prepared by Central Internal Audit under Ministry of Finance, Economic Planning and Development showed that Smedi’s three top bosses—Kazembe and two directors—allegedly made bogus claims of fuel and telephone allowances amounting to over K21 million ($42 000).
The report recommended a disciplinary action and removal of the concerned officers.
Smedi was formed after the merger of Malawi Entrepreneurs Development Institute (Medi) and Small Enterprise Development Organisation of Malawi (Sedom). n