The Technical, Entrepreneurial, Vocational Education and Training Authority (Teveta) board of directors has instructed management to recover K258 million from Ndi Tsogolo Langa [NTL]project that was financed without approval.
The development led to the firing of Teveta chief executive officer Ndione Chauluka.
A press statement the board has issued seen by The Nation says the funds were not entirely used for the intended purpose, but were diverted to other unplanned activities.
The board has also clarified that the actual amount under scrutiny was K258 million and not K2.9 billion as earlier reported in the media.
Reads the statement in part: “On 3rd April, 2017, the Anti-Corruption Bureau [ACB] served Teveta with a demand notice requiring it to produce a list of documents on the Teveta-NTL skills project and the authority complied by submitting all documentation demanded.
“The board is keen for the outcome of the investigation which is formidable for the recovery of funds from NTL and help process of recovering the public interest in Teveta against abuse of public funds and bring any wrongdoer the ACB may establish before the law in tandem with its mandate under Corrupt Practices Act.”
The statement, signed by board chairperson Gilbert Chilinde, further states that management and senior staff at Teveta have been engaged to ensure that all officers adhere to relevant rules and regulations to avoid a repeat of the loss of public funds and ensure financial integrity.
“The board has strengthened its oversight role over financial management of the resources at Teveta to safeguard public funds and more importantly to promote the government and public interest on integrity, transparency and accountability in public service,” it reads.
Teveta had initially suspended Chauluka alongside director of training, Modesto Gomani, head of funding, Joseph Kampondeni, and director of finance, Elwin Sichiola, in relation to the handling of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) between Teveta and the project.
According to the statement, Gomani and Kampondeni were recalled but served each with 12 months serious warnings for their roles and all non-compliance with Teveta boards specific instructions.
Chauluka’s dismissal followed recommendations of a disciplinary panel which heard the matter after investigations revealed some funds had been abused at the institution.
A dismissal letter dated April 4 2017 indicated the board made the decision after seeking ministerial approval on the matter.
According to the letter, the panel unanimously pronounced that Chauluka committed a serious misconduct and gross failure to execute his contractual obligations with requisite leadership capability which was against Section 4.3(ii) of his employment contract.
Meanwhile, the board is strategising to ensure that beneficiaries of the informal sector training, based in Mwanza and Nsanje, should complete the remaining lessons before being issued with certificates of attendance.