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Karonga Council Chair accuses secretariat

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Chairperson for Karonga District Council, Patrick Kishombe, has accused his secretariat of concealing information regarding financial management which compromises their work.

Kishombe made the revelation at the weekend during an interaction meeting organised by National Democratic Institute (NDI) aimed at fostering their working relationship.

Kishombe said most times they get financial reports without proper breakdown of how money has been used.

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“For instance, we are given a document indicating how cash has been spent in a particular project and we find that it is only documented that we hired a four-tonne-lorry to carry bricks from Kaporo but no charges indicated,” he explained.

He said this creates mistrust between the two sides as they always suspect each other of financial mismanagement.

“Recently, we had another incident of financial mismanagement of Local Development Fund (LDF) money on public works, since we were equipped with Public Expenditure Tracking (PET) knowledge by NDI, we made a follow-up and discovered that some members of the secretariat wanted to play some tricks to divert bags of cement meant for construction of some rice schemes and we took them to task,” he added.

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However, Karonga District Commissioner, Rosemary Moyo downplayed Kishombe’s accusation, saying the two sides are in a very good relationship apart from some misunderstandings that erupted during the LDF public works saga.

“No working materials were stolen from the stores. The materials were delivered late and when the councillors made a visit to the stores and couldn’t find them, they thought one had stolen them. We were, therefore, instructed that we will not get other working materials in the next phase but we should use the ones we have at the moment,” Moyo said.

NDI Deputy Country Director, Viwemi Chavula, said their aim is to ensure quality service delivery to the people in the 13 districts where they have the programme.

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