Grace Chiumia accused of diverting cement


Catholic Commission for Justice and Peace (CCJP) of Mzuzu Diocese Public Expenditure report has revealed that Minister of Home Affairs and Internal Security, who is also parliamentarian for Nkhata Bay West, Grace Chiumia, diverted 20 bags of cement donated by Irlad meant to construct Kakheti Bridge in her constituency.

The communities suspect Chiumia used the cement for personal projects.

However, in an interview with The Daily Times, Chiumia said the cement was used for the construction of another bridge within the constituency.


The CCJP report which summarised the progress of different projects and was approved by the District Executive Committee (Dec) last Friday reveals that Irlad donated 25 bags of cement towards the project.

The report indicates that five bags were withdrawn by the District Council and to this date the bridge has not been constructed.

The report says the communities surrounding the bridge demand an explanation from both Chiumia and the council on the whereabouts of the missing cement.


“Communities are claiming that in Nkhata Bay West, Constituency Development Fund (CDF) is not developing the area, [arguing] they have no knowledge of any CDF project.

“[They are demanding] reimbursement of 25 bags of cement given to the community by Irlad for the construction of the impassable Kakheti Bridge, but diverted by the MP and Council official,” reads part of the report.

However, Chiumia said the cement bags were withdrawn and used to construct Msipasi Bridge that connects Mzenga area.

She said the development was approved by the council.

“I know there is a certain councillor who is eyeing my constituency in 2019 elections. I hear he is working with some organisations in implementing some projects in the constituency, and he is denting my image by cooking [up] stories,” Chiumia argued.

She then said she diverted the project after realising that the councillor for the ward lied that the communities had already collected sand, stones and other materials for the project.

Efforts to talk to the District Commissioner, Alex Mdooko, proved futile as he was reportedly attending a funeral.

However, CCJP Diocesan Secretary, Arnold Msimuko, said Chiumia is lying on the said bridge. Msimuko said his office has information about all the projects that have been implemented in the constituency.

He then said CCJP and the community will soon summon the minister at her constituency to explain the whereabouts of the cement bags.

The Council’s Chairperson Beauty Banda told The Daily Times at the meeting that Members of Parliament have many powers over CDF, adding they force the secretariat to sign cheques without following procedures.

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