Suppliers of various goods and services to Karonga Teachers’ Training College (TTC) have threatened to close the institution for failing to pay K25 million owed to them.
The 13 petitioners presented a petition to district commissioner (DC) Paul Kalilombe on Tuesday demanding settlement of payments which have not been honoured for nine months.
A petition signed by the suppliers’ chairperson Black Ng’ambi and copied to Karonga Police Station officer-in-charge, Karonga TTC principal and Nojo Trading Limited that runs the college’s cafeteria has laid bare their intention to close the TTC over outstanding payments.
“We hereby inform your office that we will close down the institution following the college’s failure to honour payments.
“Efforts to get paid have proved futile and every time we are told that there is no funding from the Treasury,” reads the petition in part.
The development comes barely a week after the suppliers met the college’s management on the issue and gave them a seven-day ultimatum to pay or face unspecified action.
Speaking after presenting their petition, a member of the group, Aubrey Bailla said their businesses have been affected through, closure and seizure of property by money lending institutions and landlords.
He said: “As suppliers, we have families, we also buy goods from farmers who are also on our neck. We don’t have any option apart from closing the institution”.
In a separate interview, Nojo Trading Limited director Shepherd Galafa admitted owing the suppliers and promised that he will settle once government pays him.
Kalilombe attributed the delay to newly installed Integrated Financial Management and Information Systems (Ifmis) at the Treasury as the main challenge that most government institutions are facing countrywide.
He sympathised with the suppliers, but asked for patience. He promised to make a follow-up and give feedback.