Due to the increase in reports of massive plunder of public resources at Karonga District Council, Catholic Commission for Peace and Justice (CCJP) organised a workshop aimed at equipping the council’s finance service committee, revenue collectors and market chairpersons from the district with knowledge on proper management of resources.
Speaking during the training, senior Internal Auditor Michael Mwachilale highlighted the role various players in revenue collection and conflict resolution at a market play.
He also advised the internal auditor team and new District Commissioner Richard Hara to make sure there is proper revenue management and no cases of corruption at the council.
Speaking in an interview after the presentation, vice chairperson of Karonga Market who is also councillor of Nkhwawa ward Bido Katumbika Msiska said the workshop came at a right time after cases of corruption and fraud were reported at the council.
“This workshop I hope will change our district because at first we had some problems in financial management and proper use of resources.
“The coming of new senior internal auditors I hope as of now we will not be pointing fingers at others like we used to do, I hope corruption at our council will end,” Msiska said.
CCJP Secretary at Karonga Diocese Mwai Shawa believes the project will empower councillors to be able to deliver responsibility properly by improving the collection of local revenue and proper management of resources.
“This project aimed at equipping councillors and council officials how they can utilize opportunities to raise much resources from local revenue basket,” Mwai said.
According to review collection and utilization of development funds and locally generated revenue conducted in 7 district councils of Malawi in 2015-2016 financial year, there is unfair charging of rates by councils between ordinary market bench users and established retail shops.
Ordinary bench market users selling vegetables in a market pays as much of K31,000 per year in market fee while big shops are charged K20, 000 per year.
Last year, about seven officers at Karonga District Council were arrested by the police after swindling millions of kwacha of council funds.
The Ministry of Local Government also suspended the director of public works and district lands officer at the council over allegations of abuse of Masaf IV funds.