PAC demands explanation over abuse

The Public Accounts Committee of Parliament (PAC) has given Phalombe District Council a 30 day ultimatum to furnish the Committee with details how funds amounting to K2.8 million were spent by the Council.

According to a 2017-2018 National Audit Report, the Council used the funds that were supposed to be allocated for development projects to service a loan from Standard Bank with approval from the Treasury.

The audit report also disclosed that money amounting to K12 million was misallocated by the same Council.

In an interview, the Committee`s Chairperson Shadreck Namalomba said what the Council did is unlawful in accordance with Public Finance Guidelines.

“As you note that is illegal to use money meant for a particular activity under a particular vote for something else so this is what we have told them,” he said.

Namalomba added that the council should explain before 30 days under whose authority did they decide to service a loan with development funds.

“We have told them to go back and regularise within the 30 days they should write Treasury to seek for authorisation,” he said.

Reacting on the development, Phalombe District Commissioner Rodrick Mateauma said the council will comply with the directive.

“There was supposed to be an authority to allow us use funds to repay the loans and those funds which we used to finance the unbudgeted for activities and hence the misallocations.”

“It only requires us to back and look at the authority that had granted us to undertake those activities,” said Mateauma.

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