By Mphatso Sam and John Tembo
Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development, and that of Finance, Economic Planning and Development have joined forces to deal with corrupt practices in the country’s local councils.
Minister of Local Government and Rural Development, Benson Phiri said his ministry together with the Treasury Department will work hand in hand at local authority level.
Phiri made the remarks during the official opening of a working session on rebranding of local authorities’ performance improvement on Monday in Blantyre.
He noted that local authorities in the country need to reposition themselves in the way they discharge their functions to improve performance and serve the citizens better, hence the rebranding of the local authorities.
“The procedures put in place will not allow corrupt DCs who have abused funds allocated to them.
“Those involved will be apprehended and that is why we have the Minister of Finance amidst us,” said Phiri.
On his part, the Finance Minister Joseph Mwanamvekha, said his ministry would apply the Public Finance Management Act as sanction to enforce proper use of resources and financial prudence in projects under Constituency Development Fund, District Development Fund and Water Fund among others.
“We will work together with the Local Government Ministry to deal with corruption, theft and financial abuse. The DCs need to come up with a development plan which is discussed by council members.
“After allocating them the resources, the councils need to give us periodic reports through the local government. Our ministry will be conducting regular audits to ensure proper use of resources,” he said.
During the function, the Ministry of Local Government signed an agreement with the Anti Corruption Bureau and in his remarks, ACB’s Director General, Reyneck Matemba, said they would not tolerate corruption in local councils.-MANA