See also:
» 20.11.2009 - Malawi’s rural land development project gets additional funding
» 05.06.2009 - Epic rescue for endangered elephants in Malawi resumes
» 23.04.2009 - Air Malawi faces closure
» 08.04.2009 - Muluzi battling 'shame and glory' in courts
» 29.08.2008 - Malawi's budget finally approved
» 11.08.2008 - Malawi holed up in another budget crisis
» 29.05.2008 - Madonna wins Malawi adoption right
» 21.05.2008 - 'Regional integration cardinal in addressing energy shortage'

China wholesale online through

Houlihan's coupons

Finn autentiske matoppskrifter fra hele verden på
Gazpacho Børek Kartoffelsalat Taboulé Gulasj Albóndigas Cevapi Rougaille Japrak sarma Zwiebelbrot Klopse Giouvetsi Paella Pljeskavica Pica pau Pulpo a la gallega Flammkuchen Langosj Tapenade Chatsjapuri Pasulj Lassi Kartoffelpuffer Tortilla Raznjici Knödel Lentejas Bœuf bourguignon Korianderchutney Brenneslesuppe Proia Sæbsi kavurma Sardinske calamares

Autentiske matoppskrifter fra hele verden finner du på
Réunion Portugal Aserbajdsjan Serbia Tyskland Seychellene Bosnia Spania Libanon Belgia India Kroatia Hellas Italia Ungarn Komorene Georgia Mauritius Østerrike Romania Frankrike

Economy - Development | Politics

"Misuse of public funds" in Blantyre, Malawi

Misanet / The Chronicle, 12 July - Despite pledges by Malawi's new President, Bingu wa Mutharika, in his inaugural speech on 24 May as well as in the 'State of the Nation' address on 29 June in Parliament that his government will reduce on expenditure and avoid unnecessary spending, members of Blantyre City Assembly have wasted nearly a million Kwacha (euro 7,500) of public money taking vendors on a trip to Lake Malawi, 'The Chronicle' can reveal.

After receiving a K95 million (euro 711,000) government grant last month, the Assembly, which had debts of more than K17 million (euro 127,000), took 60 vendors from Malawi's second city, Blantyre, and nearby Limbe to Mangochi on a two-day excursion. Mangochi is a popular holiday resort at the southern shores of Lake Malawi.

Accompanied by some senior officials, councillors and assembly directors, the vendors travelled in government vehicles and were given an allowance of K3,000 (euro 23) each per day. The total cost, without fuel and drivers, came to an estimated K800,000 (euro 6,000) with one source saying that the figure was in excess of K1 million (euro 7,500).

The trip went ahead despite the Blantyre Assembly's recent financial difficulties, with reports indicating that even their telephone lines had been disconnected due to millions of Kwacha (euro 15,000) of outstanding bills. Blantyre Water Board had also cut off the water supply to many assembly establishments.

An unnamed senior member of staff from the Blantyre Assembly disclosed the scandal after despairing of the waste. Speaking exclusively to 'The Chronicle', he said: "Imagine vendors getting K3,000 a night when the staff get K1,500 as a night allowance. Where is the logic here?"

A Blantyre town vendor, who went on the trip on Tuesday 29 June, confirmed that it was a celebratory trip for helping the United Democratic Front (UDF) back into power. "It was appeasement for the work we did," he said.

But another source, an officer in the Blantyre City Assembly who did not wish to be named, said the real motive of the trip was to discuss moving the vendors from the streets to a flea market that was specifically built for them at great cost. Vendors have steadfastly refused to move fearing a loss of business.

Despite the Assembly's good intentions to negotiate with the vendors, the source admitted the Mangochi trip should never have happened. He said: "To be truthful, it was a complete waste of resources."

Additionally, while there, the vendors refused to accept the K3,000 allowance given and caused havoc - demanding K10,000 each per night and when this was denied beating up UDF staff, deflating vehicle tyres and even returning to Blantyre in the middle of the night.

- The officers are angry that so much money was spent on a meeting that never even took place, said the source adding: "We are hoping that through this experience the politicians will stop treating the vendors with kid gloves. They have been wasting so much taxpayers¹ money through wasteful things."

The trip, organised by Blantyre Mayor John Chikakwiya, is not the first time the Assembly has wasted public money on vendors in a bid to win political allegiance or to get them to move to the new site. Both sources claim the government has taken the vendors to Lake Malawi on at least one other occasion and spent millions of Kwacha on allowances and other expenses.

It is also alleged that the vendors are paid whenever they are called upon to meet assembly management or the Mayor over the issue of the flea market. Payment is even said to have occurred during May this year - at a time when the assembly had difficulty paying staff.

Speaking on the phone last Thursday, Mayor John Chikakwiya defended the trip, saying it cost only K700,000 in total. In a fax, he said: "The Mangochi trip was important for the Assembly since it's the Assembly's wish that vendors move out of the streets into the markets for us to realize the "Keep the City Clean" objective.

- It was also the wish of the Government that the Minister met the vendors in person, the fax added. But in a further scandal, Mayor Chikakwiya has been accused of claiming an allowance for the Mangochi trip, which he did not even go on. He said: "I received an allowance of K10,000 for the trip but I couldn't go because I had to attend the burial of MP Katsanga on the Wednesday."

When asked why he hadn't yet repaid the allowance and whether he intended to do so, he said: "That is an internal matter. I don't claim for myself. I don't claim for anything." He also denied suggestions that he had claimed allowances for other trips.

- If I fail to go, it means I'm involved in other matters, he said angrily before slamming the phone down on this reporter. Allegations that Chikakwiya claimed K38,500 for a two-day trip to Malawi's capital, Lilongwe, in May this year, which he did not go on, were denied by the Mayor.

But in a fax to 'The Chronicle', although he provided information about other trips, he failed to provide any evidence to show he had repaid this allowance. Chief Executive of the Assembly Sophie Kalimba was unavailable to comment on the allegations.

Malawi's new President, Mr Mutharika, is on record as saying that he will not tolerate corruption "at any level" and will take action against anyone found abusing public office. The last UDF government has been accused of misusing public resources and of mismanagement; a situation that the new President says has to stop.

- Create an e-mail alert for Malawi news
- Create an e-mail alert for Economy - Development news
- Create an e-mail alert for Politics news

    Printable version

On the Afrol News front page now

Rwanda succeeds including citizens in formal financial sector

afrol News - It is called "financial inclusion", and it is a key government policy in Rwanda. The goal is that, by 2020, 90 percent of the population is to have and actively use bank accounts. And in only four years, financial inclusion has doubled in Rwanda.

Famine warning: "South Sudan is imploding"

afrol News - The UN's humanitarian agencies now warn about a devastating famine in Sudan and especially in South Sudan, where the situation is said to be "imploding". Relief officials are appealing to donors to urgently fund life-saving activities in the two countries.
Panic in West Africa after Ebola outbreak in Guinea

afrol News - Fear is spreading all over West Africa after the health ministry in Guinea confirmed the first Ebola outbreak in this part of Africa. According to official numbers, at least 86 are infected and 59 are dead as a result of this very contagious disease.
Ethiopia tightens its already strict anti-gay laws

afrol News - It is already a crime being homosexual in Ethiopia, but parliament is now making sure the anti-gay laws will be applied in practical life. No pardoning of gays will be allowed in future, but activist fear this only is a signal of further repression being prepared.
Ethiopia plans Africa's biggest dam

afrol News / Africa Renewal - Ethiopia's ambitious plan to build a US$ 4.2 billion dam in the Benishangul-Gumuz region, 40 km from its border with Sudan, is expected to provide 6,000 megawatts of electricity, enough for its population plus some excess it can sell to neighbouring countries.

front page | news | countries | archive | currencies | news alerts login | about afrol News | contact | advertise | español 

©  afrol News. Reproducing or buying afrol News' articles.

   You can contact us at