Blantyre City Council, LWB on ACB’s radar

Human Rights Defenders Coalition (HRDC) has written the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) to investigate allegations of abuse of office at Lilongwe Water Board (LWB), Blantyre City Council (BCC) and Roads Authority (RA).

National Coordinator for HRDC Luke Tembo told YFM that they received information under whistle-blower initiative that LWB paid Gaston Arts over K29 million for construction of sculptures at Parliament and Capital Hotel roundabouts on behalf of BEAM Trust, a charity run by former First Lady Gertrude Mutharika.

“These payments were done under corporate social responsibility,” HRDC said in a statement.

“We are of the view that this was an abuse of office. LWB should not have been involved in construction of sculptures, they were better off constructing a school block or clinic within their catchment area.

“LWB made an upfront payment of 60% to Gaston Arts. Normal upfront payments, generally do not exceed 20%.”

Tembo said they also received allegations that LWB had on its payroll President Mutharika’s stepson, Tadikira whose name was reflected in the engineering section.

“It is alleged that despite being paid by LWB, Tadikira never reported for duties,” reads the statement in part.

He also added that Tadikira’s name was also appearing on the payroll of the Roads Authority (RA).

Tembo also added that Blantyre City Council is suspected to have dubiously signed a year-long contract with BEAM Trust worth K22 million through two leased refuse collection trucks.

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