A ticket seller for Khuwi Trading Centre in Ntchisi was arrested last week on allegations that he has been cashing in on market fee collections by issuing fake receipts to traders at the market.
Ntchisi District Commissioner (DC), James Manyetera, confirmed in an interview with Malawi News Agency (MANA) about the arrest and subsequent interdiction of Tupatsa Chitedzi who is currently on bail.
The incident has come at a time when the district council is struggling financially due to under- collection of revenue among other reasons, resulting in the local council failing to pay its direct employees as well as rendering unsatisfactory services to the people in the district.
According to the DC, the council has so far only collected K23 million out of the K133 million which was projected to be collected by June 30, this year (2018). K50 million was supposed to have come from Government subvention.
He disclosed that the council’s management discovered a number of loop-holes in revenue collection.
“We observed that as a council, we are grossly under-collecting in terms of revenue and we called for a meeting with our revenue collectors to see how we can improve.
“We were tipped that some officers within the council had fake receipt books and this was confirmed when some traders informed the council about the same,” said Manyetera.
Meanwhile, police investigations are still underway to identify other officers involved in the syndicate.
Manyetera said the council management is determined to overhaul the system and ensure that money meant for the council should not end in individuals’ pockets.
Ntchisi District Council Director of Finance, Steve Kanyerere, explained that the council has since intensified internal control system, having lost a lot of revenue.
“In addition, the council would like to boost revenue collection by, among other things, revamping commercial activities in its establishments which have currently stalled,” said Kanyerere.