35 local councils have collectively received K1.38 billion for Covid-19 response, courtesy of the Department of Disaster Management Affairs (Dodma).

The funds have been made available amidst an ongoing investigation towards the council’s abuse of funds; an audit report by the National Audit Office (NAO) has revealed that almost K5.9 billion has gone unaccounted for in the June 2018 fiscal year.

The audit report was presented to Parliament last year, exposing how the funds may have been abused, like payment vouchers that were not submitted for audit and failure to provide other documents for audit inspection, among others.

With the investigation still in the works, Dodma and the Ministry of Finance has warned the councils against abuse of fans.

In a statement to the councils, it was communicated that the funds are to be used for allocated purposes only.

Part of the statement reads “You are urged to use the funds for the intended purposes as outlined above and follow the guidelines as provided by the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development and the Local Government Finance Committee (NLGFC)and report monthly to the (NLGFC) on the use of funds timely.”

According to the letter, all the money has already been credited to development accounts of individual councils, with figures showing Blantyre and Lilongwe district councils have received the biggest share at K85 million each.

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