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CSOs and vendors protest in Karonga

Calls for the removal of District Commissioner (DC) for Karonga, Rosemary Moyo, resurfaced yesterday morning when members of the Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) and vendors held a joint demonstration.

The protests were in retaliation to revelations that K51 million meant for the Public Works Programme under the first quarter of the fourth cycle of the Malawi Social Action Fund (Masaf) went missing in unpurchased goods.

In a petition presented to the council, the protesters accuse Moyo of defending officers suspected to have been part of the syndicate to defraud the council.

“We notice with dismay that Madam Moyo is adamant in clearing the mess at the council, she undermines opinions and concerns of the taxpayers in Karonga. She is a failure and should be removed immediately,” said spokesperson for the protesters, Wavisanga Silungwe.

Silungwe said the CSO’s and the business community want the council to approve a resolution to the Ministry of Local Government for the suspension and consequent probe of the suspected officers.

Additionally, the groups are calling for suspension of council elections slated for Wednesday, September 14.

“We do not want a scenario where office bearers will be pushing the issues to their predecessors. So until we have this matter resolved, council elections just have to wait,” he added.

Moyo could not be reached yesterday. She, however, said, in earlier interviews, that she needed evidence to work on allegations against her officers.

When contacted, Chairperson for the council, Patrick Kishombe, said he has written the ministry for guidance.

“The matters raised are quite crucial and serious, we will be holding a number of council meetings on the way forward. Above all, I am in touch with the ministry for advice,” Kishombe said.

Spokesperson for the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development, Muhlabase Mughogho, in a separate interview, hinted at the possibility of suspending the elections.

On the calls for Moyo’s redeployment, Mughogho said the ministry will wait for an official communication from the council on the way forward.

“After the communication, we normally send a team from the Human Resource Department who institute investigations into the matters at hand, depending on the information gathered, the ministry acts accordingly,” Mughogho said.

Apart from Moyo, people of Karonga are also calling for the transfer of District Lands Officer, Phillimon Maseko who has also been implicated in the saga.

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