About K35 million is reported missing at Chikwawa district council, Malawi government officials say.
The development that has made Councillors in the district to request for immediate transfer of the Director of Finance Frank Saidi.
In a September 15 letter, signed by all the 12 Councillors, addressed to the local government services and copied to the District Commissioner and the Executive Director of the Malawi Local Government Association (MELGA), Saidi is suspected of being the mastermind behind the financial mess at the council.
“He [Saidi] relocates and spends the approved budgets contrary to the provision of the local government act on financial management. For example, the K16 million for CDF was relocated to unknown allocation without the approval of the council and the use of the money was reported to the council through the finance committee,” reads the letter in part.
The letter further states that about K19 milion was relocated to the use of Other Recurrent Transaction (ORT) budget which was not done, despite having the secretariat to fulfill requirement on financial issues and above all procurement is done on huge sums without approval of finance committee as recommended.
It is also alleged that the council has stayed more than five months without having full council meetings which are the constitutional structure of the council which monitors the service delivery of the secretariat and all devolved sectors in the interest of local people.
“With all these allegations, we the councillors, think that all these problems are originating from the finance management and we have therefore demanded for an immediate transfer of the Director of Finance as a starting point which was due on September 20, 2015, failing which, appropriate action will be taken,” further reads the letter.
Meanwhile, council officials have sent Saidi on a forced leave to pave way for investigations.