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DPP ransacking Lilongwe water board

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While the residents of Lilongwe City are suffering persistent dry taps, the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) is ransacking Lilongwe Water Board (LWB) by siphoning its money through funding for its Southern region Blue Night event held in November 2016.

The board has also made a questionable payment to National Intelligence Bureau (NIB) and another officer who works for the Bureau.

The expenditure comes at a time the board is struggling to supply water in the city owing to the drying up of its water sources.

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DPP has since said it did not force anyone to support the event.

On November 1 2016, the DPP through its Secretary General’s office requested LWB’s Chief Executive Officer, Alfonso Chikuni, to support the Blue Night event which took place at Sanjika palace in Blantyre.

On November 3 2016, the board made a payment of K10 million to the fundraising committee through cheque number 012262 even though the party pegged its rates at K1.5 million for platinum table.

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The board has since contradicted itself on this payment. Asked why the board felt it should give out as much as K10 million when the DPP pegged the platinum table rates at K1.5 million, the water supplier’s Public Relations Officer Bright Sonani said the payment was for a function at Chonde of which a request was sent to LWB. He did not say who sent the request and what the function was about.

“There was no limit on the request and it was our board that directed that figure,” he said.

We have also established that the board had a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with National Intelligence Bureau (NIB) regarding identification of illegal water connections.

For the exercise, the NIB made a request for payment of K150, 000 each for its five officers on October 7 2016. However, a requisition for payment which LWB issued dated November 1 2016 indicates that the Board paid K4.15 million to Evans Malewa whose name also is among the five NIB officers listed in the October communication.

Sonani said the board at times uses government departments to provide services and the practice in such arrangements is that payment is done by way of reimbursement as it was done with Malewa’s K4.15 million payment.

He said LWB has in the past dealt with the Malawi Police Service and the Department of Human Resource Development for its functional review.

We have also learnt that the board allocated fuel amounting to K12 million to its middle managers, board chairman and for managers for outside trips for the month of January.

But an inside source claimed the officers in question did not actually receive the fuel but were used as conduits to get funds out of the system to fund fuel requirement for DPP functionaries

Sonani dismissed this claim.

“According to our records all our staff members (29 in total) who are allocated fuel got their allocations for the month of January, 2017 as per the allocated monthly amounts, and the total came up to almost the indicated K12 million,” he said.

DPP spokesperson Francis Kasaila said LWB has supported the function at its own will.

“We sent request letters of support to all parastatals, private organisations and individuals. We didn’t force any of these to support us but those who did supported us with whatever amount they were comfortable with. Some responded others didn’t,” he said.

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