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K26 million education funding stirs controversy at Mzuzu City Council

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The Department of Education at Mzuzu City Council (MCC) is failing to access K26 million funding from the Treasury meant for educational activities in the city, a development that has given rise to suspicion that the money might have gone missing.

The funds were supposed to be used for development activities, paying leave grants for teachers and schools inspection.

Both chairperson of Education Committee at Mzuzu Chamber, Councillor Khumbo Harawa, and Division Education Manager (Dem), Amon Chavula have confirmed the development.

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Harawa said in an interview that after planning for activities, the sector was welcomed by an empty bank account at the time of implementation.

“When the money is deposited from the Treasury, it goes straight into one pool account of the council and the council was supposed to allocate it to other small accounts of health, education and others,” Harawa said.

Speaking in a separate interview on Tuesday Chavula concurred with Harawa, adding that the matter was reported to the council’s Chief Executive Officer Macloud Kadammanja, who promised to resolve the problem

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However, MCC spokesperson, Karen Msiska said the council was not aware that funds went missing.

Msiska said the council knows that the money was meant for teachers’ leave grants but they did not complete paying all teachers because they were ordered to stop by the Ministry of Education.

“We had started the process of paying the leave grants but we were advised that the Ministry of Education would handle the rest of the process and credit the remainders directly into beneficiaries’ accounts. To the best of our knowledge, that stands and we have not been advised otherwise,” Msiska said.

However, Harawa could not understand the argument and said the education committee recommended that the Dem should be one of the bank account signatory in order to control the current situation where cash is withdrawn without the knowledge of the department.

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