The Mzuzu City Council (MCC) has disclosed that Malawi’s ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) wanted the Council to contribute towards the party’s blue night dinner.
In an interview in which the Council trashed claims that it donated K3.5 million to DPP at the Fundraising Event at Kamuzu Palace in Lilongwe on Saturday, the Council acknowledged that the ruling party approached them for funds.
Speaking in an interview with Malawi24, Public Relations Officer for Mzuzu City Council Karen Msiska said the council did not donate any money but he admitted that it was approached by the ruling party.
“Council notified the organising committee that it could not pay any money towards the event because its financial situation is not okay. It only promised that it may contribute something towards the event when its financial situation improves,” said Msiska.
It was rumoured that MCC had bought a table at the dinner for K3.5 million.
There were also claims that the council sent six councillors to the dinner with each councillor pocketing K30,000 as allowance for attending the event and accommodation allowance of K60,000.
Msiska confirmed that the council sent the six councillors to the event since the council was invited and they thought it wise to honour the invitation.
“First, the council got an invitation from the organising committee and we thought of honouring it. Second, we viewed the event not as just a fundraising event. We saw it as a platform for interaction, more so at a time when we are ourselves setting up a fundraising committee to help widen the council’s sources of revenue.”
“Most of our officers that attended the event, not just the councillors, are part of that team,” he said.
According to Msiska, Mzuzu City Council paid two nights subsistence allowance which is less than the K60,000 being mentioned.
He said when the council pays subsistence allowance it doesn’t pay any other allowances because the subsistence allowance is meant to cater for everything and the K30,000 being mentioned is also wide off the mark.
Msiska further said that the team from Mzuzu used two council vehicles, as such none of the officers received transport allowance.
He then urged Mzuzu residents to trust the council when it says it has no money to spend on certain services adding that the council’s financial statements are public and people are allowed to scrutinise them.
Accusations against the council came at a time when there are reports that some council workers have not been getting their salaries for the past two months.
On those reports, Msiska said employees at the council receive their salaries though the salaries are sometimes delayed.
“All that is happening is that the salaries are delayed. For instance, salaries for May could be paid by mid-June. It’s not that officers stay for two months without being paid,” he said.
Msiska added that the situation is a result of the precarious financial situation the council was in but he said now things are improving and they expect the whole situation to normalise as soon as possible.