Minister of Local Government, Culture and Unity Richard Chimwendo Banda has said no public officer accused of mismanaging resources in a district council will be transferred to another institution.
Speaking in Parliament on Tuesday, Chimwendo Banda, who is also Leader of the House, said government has taken the step to protect public resources in local councils.
He was responding to questions on what his ministry is doing to protect public resources in local councils.
Said the minister: “What has been happening is that when someone mismanages resources let’s say in Nkhata Bay, they get transferred to Zomba, they mismanage in Zomba then they get transferred to Machinga. With such actions, the person cannot reform.
“So what we are saying now is that when someone is accused of mismanaging resources, they should be interdicted and investigated. If they are cleared of the allegations, let them continue but if they are found in the wrong, they should not be transferred to another council.”
He stressed that such officers have to be interdicted, properly investigated and ensure that the matter is disposed of to protect public resources and promote service delivery.
Chimwendo Banda further called on members of Parliament (MPs), councillors and secretariat in councils to protect public resources in order to deliver services to the public as well as to win support of donors and other stakeholders.
In an interview later, Parliamentary Public Accounts Committee chairperson Mark Botomani commended the decision, saying transferring the official is as good as transferring problems from one council to the other.
“The stand of the committee has always been that officials accused of mismanaging resources be investigated and government should ensure that the matter is concluded,” he said.
However, Botomani said there is need for government to ensure that those carrying investigations are not influenced by politics.
“The country needs to be serious about protecting public resources if we are to promote service delivery,” he said.
Local councils have been in bad books over mismanagement of resources and poor service delivery.
In August 2022, the Office of the Ombudsman laid bare how personal allowances dominated expenditure lines for the extra K17 billion that the Treasury released to finance the Covid-19 Response Plan at the peak of the pandemic in February 2021.
Findings of an investigation showed that the sampled five district councils of Lilongwe, Ntcheu, Zomba, Phalombe and Karonga had one thing in common, huge expenditures on allowances at the expense of essential services.