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Government deducts councillors perks without issuing loans

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Government has started deducting money from councillor’s perks as repayment of the motor cycle loans which the councillors are yet to access.

The councillors, where promised to access the loans this month but they have not. The councillors have expressed their bitterness with government’s move describing it as illegal. The have since demanded back the deducted instalment.

Chairperson of Mzuzu City Council Finance Committee, Alexander Mwakikunga, confirmed in an interview that councillors are wondering why instead of getting loans, government has deducted the first instalment.

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“During the launch of the motor cycle loans recently, we were told that we would get the loans at the end of May and first instalment would be deducted. The deductions have indeed taken place. But the loans are not paid. So, the question councillors are asking is, from where have they made the deductions? That is illegal,” said Mwakikunga adding that the councillors are deducted K34 400 each.

He said some councillors in Mzuzu called the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development headquarters for an explanation but they got no response. Mwakikunga said government should simply come out and tell the councillors that there is no money for the loans than playing hide and seek on the issue.

Minister of Local Government and Rural Development Kondwani Nankhumwa said yesterday that he had no answer to the issue. He referred it to his Principal Secretary Stuart Ligomeka who did not answer calls several times we called.

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President Peter Mutharika promised in 2014 to provide motor cycle loans to councillors to ease their mobility in the execution of their duties as some are in remote areas where mobility is a challenge. Each councillor was promised a K1 million loan to purchase the motor cycles.

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