Minister of Local Government Grace Maseko has asked the Lilongwe City Council (LCC) to use the $2.5 million (K720 million) Melinda Gates Foundation donated to Lilongwe City West Constituency for development in the area.
Member of Parliament for the constituency Edwin Bagwanji said his constituents and LCC have been fighting over the money for two years now; hence, they reported the matter to the minister.
Maseko confirmed in an interview last week that she ordered the council to release the money which she said was lying idle in an account.
â€œI know there is money for a project at Chinsapo and the surrounding areas in the constituency which was lying idle at the council. I have since ordered that the money be released to intended beneficiaries before the end of the year,â€ she said.
Bagwanji said the money was supposed to be used for upgrading roads and other public structures in Ntandire and Chinsapo, but for one reason or another, the council did not want to release the money.
â€œI do not know why they did not want to release the money. This is denying people development,â€ said Bagwanji.
LCC acting chief executive officer Vito Mulula confirmed that the money was lying idle in a bank account due to some â€œtechnicalitiesâ€.
â€œWhen the money was donated, it coincided with some problems at the Local Government Service Commission which nearly led to its dissolution. As a result, the donor ordered us not to use the money. Since then, we have been waiting for direction from government and now that we have been given the go ahead to use the money, we will do that,â€ said Mulula.
He said administrative committees have been put in place and the money will be used for the intended projects.