By: Vincent Gunde
Bwalo la a Chewa Foundation ( BOLA-CEFO), has expressed shock and dismay over alleged public funds abuses by the Dowa District Council .
Pic: Bwalo la a Chewa Foundation National Executive Director, Reverend Flywell Somanje.” we are all saddened by the revelations”.
The revelations have come at a time that Ombudsman, Martha Chizumira announced that her office would conduct massive investigations into the alleged abuse of funds by councils across the country.
It is being alleged that over 450 million Kwacha development funds including those meant for education projects have been swindled , a development which Dowa District Council’s chairperson, Councilor Martin Luka Phiri is quoted in the media as so disturbing with assurance that appropriate action will be taken against the perpetrators.
In its statement, Bwalo la a Chewa National Executive Director, Reverend Flywell Somanje, said the grouping has received the sad news taking into account that Dowa is its district headquarters, condemning in strongest terms possible all those who played a part in the plundering of public resources meant for the poor in the district.
Rev. Somanje said according to research, the Chewas beside being in majority in the district are not fully represented in council meetings because the Ngonis who are in minority are at the driving seat hence failure to account for the public resources which comes to the council.
He said in view of this, the grouping is training some influential Chewa chiefs such as Mkanthama, Mdayenda, Chipeni and Mtsinje to act as watchdogs of ensuring that every Kwacha which comes to the district is used for the intended purposes other than entering into some other crooked pockets.
The Rev. lamented that the resources which are being abused do not necessarily come from tax , others come through loans which the children in future years to come, will be repaying for no tangible projects seen.
He said Dowa district which is being taken as a centre of public resources abuses is poor as compared to the other districts with no stadium, no good District hospital, no good District market saying the grouping is advocating for chiefs council to look into the welfare of District Commissioners( DC) and service delivery in the councils.
Rev. Somanje congratulated the office of the Ombudsman for coming up with an initiative of investigating allegations of massive abuse of resources in district councils, assuring it that Bwalo la a Chewa will work with it to see to it that all the perpetrators are brought to book for justice and the money swindled is repaid to the poor in the district.
In 2016, the Public Expenditure Tracking ( PET) by the Catholic Commission for Justice and Peace( CCJP), a governance arm of the Episcopal Conference of Malawi ( ECM) , faulted the Dowa District Council for massive abuse of public resources citing one, the rehabilitation of Dowa rest house to a lodge which its implementation was done without a project committee.