Chiradzulu District Council in Cashgate

Chiradzulu District Council has mismanaged about K8 million funds for 2016/17 Descent and Affordable Subsidy Housing Programme (DASHP).

This was revealed on Tuesday during a full Council meeting when it was reported that the money was in by July 2017 but was not accessible by November.

Chiradzulu District Housing Officer, Jimmy Masina in his report to the meeting said his office received K 14 million for the programme, but failed to access money in November as the account had no money.

“Council used the money on its own programmes and now am facing a lot of challenges as monitoring is difficult, delivery of materials to some beneficiaries is not yet done and about 37 houses are likely to collapse once the rain starts,” he said.

Masina added that another challenge being faced was lack of labour money to start constructing houses despite the beneficiaries received building materials.

He said the district received all required building materials, but there was none for all 50 grant houses.

The Housing Officer pointed out that the Council has started refunding him, but the money was still not enough to hire a vehicle to distribute materials to the remaining beneficiaries.

Masina said despite all these challenged his office has managed to collect K493, 005.00 from some previous beneficiaries in 18 villages.

“Some beneficiaries have started paying back. The central part of the district is doing well seconded by the eastern part. Some have not yet started because they have no support at the council as the programme does not report to any committee,” he explained.

Masina asked chiefs and councilors to work with his office for the smooth implementation of the programme.

Traditional Authority (TA) Ntchema expressed worries that some of the beneficiaries were not supposed to benefit from the programme as the poor who are living in grass thatched houses have been left out.

He added that some beneficiaries received substandard materials giving an example of tiny poles that were distributed.

Over 755 households were expected to benefit from Phase 1 and 2 of the programme for the  2015/16 and 2016/17 respectively.

The Council is set to start implementing Phase 3 of the programme soon.