Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Moshi district council executives fined for misuse of money

THE Parliamentary Committee for Local Authority Accounts (LAAC) has ordered executives of the Moshi District Council (MDC) to have their salaries deducted with effect from the month of November this year. The money will compensate  the printing costs the council had dubiously incurred of unspecified number of booklets that shows the reports about their financial development.  LAAC’s Committee Chairman Rajab Mbarouk Mohammed issued a directive last week in Dar es Salaam after having gone through the reports which the MDC had presented before the committee members and found that they do not conform to the Controller Accounts General (CAG) annual reports. Earlier the committee chairman discovered that apart from misusing the council’s fund by way of printing the report, in addition his committee members had discovered that, the report was not approved by the councilors up to the time of was being presented to them.  However, on realizing such a cheating he has imposed such a punishment as a deterrent for other executives of various district councils in the country who have the habit of preparing wrong financial statements for income and expenditure reports and present before his committee. To accomplish the task, the Chairman has ordered an ethical committee of the MDC to calculate the value of the booklets already printed and evaluate their total costs so as to get the correct amount of money for each one of them to be deducted from their basic salaries. However, when contacted to comment on the issue and give a rough  estimate of the total value of the money used for printing, the Director of the MDC Fulgence Mponji declined to say anything further on account of the fact that, he did not have the correct figure already with him. Earlier, the LAAC committee had boycotted the MDC’s report on account that, it was not audited by the CAG and wondered why some of the information about the report was published in Mwananchi daily tabloid without the approval of the CAG a mistake that director Mponji agreed to have committed. The Chairman issued other directives after having gone through the CAG report through various pages and noted some of the mistakes the MDC had flouted and did not adhere with them as per the directives noted in the CAG report. He said when analyzing the deliberations by his committee at the end of the meeting and has ordered that, the MDC should pay 20 percent of their total annual income as subsidy for the rural development. The committee also ordered the MDC to list down the number of villages to which it had disbursed the already Sh. 192 million it claims to have done to the CAG accompanied by the payment receipts to verify the amount of money already paid. Since the committee has discovered also that, the MDC has failed to disburse money for women and youths each with 5 percent whereby the council contributes each one to the respective ministries in-charge of women and youths in the country, then it should do so by end of October this year. In addition to that, the committee is disappointed by the MDC which it said have gone against financial regulations as it against the law to publish any financial report in a private media without the consent of their councilors. He further noted that, it had also violated the tendering procedures. He noted this when they discovered in CAG report that, the MDC had issued imprest amounting to Sh. 35 million for the renovation of the house of a District Medical Officer (DMO) and others were used for road maintenance. This he said the procurement laws were not followed. On the Himo international market, the chairman noted that, his committee has discovered that, the market is able to collect over Sh. 500,000 per day, but was annoyed to hear that, even people from the regional level interferes with the daily collections of the market an aspect that it has reduced. In view of this, the committee has warmed the Director to be more careful and shouldn’t allow his subordinates under him to over control him in other matters for office interest. The committee has also discovered that, most books of accounts owned by the MDC are not correct while others do not give an up to-date-information about the financial reports.. In view of this, the committee has ordered an MP for Moshi constituency Dr. Cyril Chami to work closely with the officials to maintain good financial records. Dr. Chami who is among the members of the committee is an economist and was once the Minister for Trade and Industry highlighted some of the problems with the MDC and said that, the Local government Ministry has the tendency of transferring its directors who do not stay for longer in the district an aspect which he noted contributes to the lower performance level.

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