Councils given 6 months to refund Covid-19 funds

Some of the councils in the country have started refunding Covid-19 funds that were mismanaged as highlighted by the Auditor General`s report. 

This has been disclosed at Parliament Building in Lilongwe when Mangochi, Mulanje, Likoma, Chitipa and Nsanje Districts councils appeared before the Parliamentary Public Accounts Committee.

In an interview, PAC acting chairperson Ben Phiri, the Committee observed some Councils got Covid-19 allowances without basis.

“One thing that is common that cuts across is the issue of allowances, whether they got allowance deservingly or not, to some extent they were councils that got allowances unjustifiably.

“As a result those that have justifiable and indeed the Committee fell it was worthy getting we have noted the query meaning they have been cleared, and to others we have sent it for further reporting meaning the query still stands pending the guidance of the Committee,” said Phiri.

The acting chairperson added that the councils which mismanaged the funds have 6 months to refund the Covid-19 money.

“Some councils have been told to follow procedures of reimbursing the funds, they used the funds that were not on the line, and we have asked them to refund the money.

“We have advised them to refund that money, they have already started refunding as evidence we had, and we have agreed that within the next six months they should be able to refund, and the six months has been given only on the basis that these Councils that they don’t have money,” said Phiri.

Among other key findings, the Auditor General`s report on the usage and accountability of the K6.2 billion disbursement found that allowance related irregularities amounted to K80.2 million.

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