Thursday, March 24, 2011

Abuse of resources worries Kalulushi council workers

Abuse of resources worries Kalulushi council workers
By Mwila Chansa in Kitwe
Thu 24 Mar. 2011, 04:00 CAT

KALULUSHI council workers have expressed their concerns about the alleged mismanagement and abuse of resources taking place at the local authority. According to well-placed sources within the council, the workers were shocked that Kalulushi town clerk Maxwell Kabanda had been paid about K710 million as retirement package and yet he was still working and getting paid.

The workers complained that Kabanda was working without a contract and going on trips using council money, adding that government authorities were aware of this but had allegedly not done anything about it because Kabanda was their close ally.

“You can imagine, he even has the audacity to tell people to go to Cabinet Office and find out why he is working without a contract,” the source said.

The source added that it seemed Kabanda was fully backed by the Local Government Service Commission because it was allegedly full of his friends as commissioners.

And another source challenged Kabanda to disclose who retired him and who also gave him a contract to continue as town clerk.

The source added that although he had reached retirement age, he could only get his package after being written to as a confirmation that he was formally retired.
The source added that Kabanda’s contract was not the only contentious issue at Kalulushi council.

They alleged that the council was involved in a serious scandal concerning over 250 ‘ghost’ plots in St Marceline area.

“Basically, council sold plots which do not exist, plots that have not been surveyed. They cheated the public that they have surveyed the plots when in fact, not and that is obtaining money by false pretences,” the source explained.

“Quite alright they made a site plan but the area in question is not demarcated, they charged service charges to the public when they have not serviced the area. They raised over K3 billion from this same scandal and I am told part of the money went towards paying the town clerk’s retirement package when he is still working,” the source added.

The source said by the time people would realise that they had been sold ‘ghost’ plots, the council would have been dissolved and the town clerk would have retired.

Another source said the local authority gave the current mayor Emmanuel Mazokera a contract to construct a market but that they had spent about K70 million so far when what was approved is K50 million.

When contacted, Kabanda described the allegations as wild and unsubstantiated.
“Did your sources provide any evidence because without evidence, it is very difficult for me to comment,” he said.

Kabanda, however, confirmed that he had received his retirement package.
“Yes I got my retirement package. I am town clerk but I am on contract. What is so strange about that?” he asked.

Kabanda also said it was not true that the plots the sources were referring to had not been surveyed.

And Mazokera denied being offered a contract to build a market, saying his only role was supervision.

“My only role was trying to supervise and people thought that I am the one who had been awarded the contract. I was not awarded that contract, council bought the material and everything. The value of that market was K90 million but council only had K50 million, hence they sourced for another K15 million from another project which overran,” said Mazokera.

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