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Nkhata Bay shuns public expenditure meeting

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District Executive Committee (Dec) members at Nkhata Bay District Council on Friday absconded a Public Expenditure Tracking Findings Report meeting presided over by Catholic Commission for Justice and Peace (CCJP).

CCJP Mzuzu Diocesan Secretary, Arnold Msimuko, confirmed in an interview that they invited 45 members at district council level to hear the communities’ report, but only less than five showed up.

Msimuko, however, said the Dec members did not communicate convincing reasons behind their failure to attend the meeting.

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“It is very sad that the communities wanted to report on the progress of the developments implemented by council but the people who are supposed to answer questions decide not to be available. What picture are they portraying to the communities?” Msimuko queried.

He then said the communities suspect that failure to attend the meeting means that the members are hiding the financial weaknesses that are within the projects.

Msimuko then said it is sad that there is still a gap between council and the locals when implementing development projects in the district.

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Council’s Chairperson, Beauty Banda, who was also at first surprised by the development, said this is not the first time the council Dec members have been shunning such related meetings.

However, Banda said she was later communicated to by the office of District Commissioner that the secretariat was busy with other meetings which were mandatory for them to attend.

“The office of the District Commissioner has communicated that the auditors are within the premises for their job. Other people are out and this is behind the poor turn-up,” Banda said.

The report indicated that 90 percent of the communities were complaining about poor standards of Local Development Fund (LDF), Constituency Development Fund (CDF) and District Development Fund (DDF).

The report also revealed the delayed projects to completion.

However, it was observed that some of the reasons were because the council has nine key positions vacant and many positions are in acting basis.

Some of the positions are Internal Auditors, Director of Finance and Director of Planning Development.

The meeting, however, adopted the report and agreed that the secretariat should meet the communities at their villages for responses.

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