By Isaac Salima:
District commissioners (DCs) and chief executive officers (CEOs) interdicted in district councils over abuse of K6.2 billion meant for Covid response have been reinstated, the Ministry of Local Government has confirmed.
Controlling officers from 34 district councils have been on interdiction from February this year over failure to submit expenditure reports on Covid funds allocated to areas under their jurisdiction.
However, some of the controlling officers heaved a sigh of relief when they received letters advising them to return to work.
Chikwawa District Commissioner Ali Phiri confirmed that he had been informed that he has to report to work.
“The contents of the letter are not for public consumption but the main message is a warning that, as we go back to work, we should bear in mind that we are controlling officers of the councils and we should work according to rules and regulations governing our offices because, if anything goes wrong, we will be held accountable,” Phiri said.
Local Government Ministry spokesperson Anjoya Mwanza said it was true that the officers had received communication that they resume work.
“Yes I can confirm that the interdiction order that was imposed on the controlling officers has been cancelled; meaning that they can now return to work,” Mwanza said.
She, could, however not say if this meant the controlling officers had been cleared of all allegations levelled against them, referring us to the Office of the President and Cabinet (OPC).
OPC Secretary Zangazanga Chikhosi could not pick our calls to comment on the matter.
The DCs and CEOs were suspended on the basis that they were heads of Covid response clusters.