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Ministry interdicts district commissioners

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Ministry of Local Government has interdicted 35 controlling officers over failure to submit expenditure reports on Covid funds allocated to councils.

The ministry’s spokesperson Anjoya Mwanza confirmed the development, saying the affected officers included 27 district commissioners (DCs), seven chief executive officers for city councils, two municipalities and one town council.

“I confirm the development. The conditions are served in their interdiction letters, which have been served today,” she said.

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According to one letter which Secretary for Local Government Edna Makhole has signed and addressed to Mangochi DC Raphael Piringu, the controlling officers are also barred from leaving the country without seeking permission from her office.

“While on interdiction you shall not leave Malawi, without written permission from this office. And the interdiction order shall remain in force until a decision is reached on your case or the order of interdiction is cancelled,” the letter reads.

The letter has also indicated the laws the controlling officers are alleged to have contradicted.

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“I write to inform you that these allegations constitute serious acts of misconduct in terms of Malawi Public Service Commission Regulation (MPSR) 1:201 (2) and MPSR 201(3),” the letter states.

However, Mwanza said the government would appoint officers in an acting capacity to continue with the duties of the interdicted officers until the investigations are over or the interdiction is cancelled.

This follows President Lazarus Chakwera’s address Monday, which saw Secretary to the Office of the President and Cabinet Zanga-zanga Chikhosi confirming that some government officials had been suspended.

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