Drama ensued on Monday at a Full Council Meeting when councilors from Blantyre rural refused ‘meager’ transport allowances.
Instead of the usual 12 litres of fuel allowance which translated to K9,960 an accounts personnel said he would give them K4,000. And when they protested, he told them to produce vehicles that could be fueled at a filling station.
This did not go well with councilors as some charted ‘sitilola ndipo sizitheka’ (we will not allow that and it will not happen).
This resulted into an impromptu meeting between the councilors and District Commissioner which lasted for at least two hours.
Speaking In an interview with Malawi News Agency, chairman of the council, Thomas Kaumba, said the disagreements arose due to poor communication between the secretariat and councilors.
“There was this misunderstanding because the secretariat did not communicate to councilors that the system of accessing fuel allowances has changed and for what reasons,” said Kaumba
He said he was not also informed of the changes as a chairman of the council.
“It’s not refusing allowances but councilors told the accounts person to wait for a redress before they were given the K4,000,” Kaumba said.
The conditions of service for councilors state that they must get 12 litres of fuel when they attend a council meeting.
Councilors are yet to get their K1 million motorcycle loan and have written government to consider increasing the figure.
The issue of councilors producing a vehicle to be fueled by councils has received resistance from councilors across the country resulting in tensions between council officers and councilors.
A similar case happened at Lutchenza Town Municipal which was reportedly struggling to meet the costs of operations.