By Monalisa Nyirenda – Mana
M’mbelwa District Council has suspended an officer after being implicated in alleged unauthorised payment of salary arrears amounting to over K10 million at Mzimba District Health Office (DHO).
Both spokesperson for M’mbelwa District Council, Joel Phiri and Mzimba Police Public Relations Officer, Peter Botha have confirmed the suspension and arrest of Boyd Chipeta who was working as Assistant Human Resources Officer at the office.
According to Phiri, Chipeta is alleged to have been authorising payment of arrears to staff through fraudulent transactions that has resulted the council into losing of over K10 million.
‘‘Chipeta has been suspended because he was authorising payment of arrears to nine junior staff members bypassing normal payment procedures. He has been including names of some officers mostly health workers on payroll since November 2022 till May 2023,” said Phiri.
Phiri, one of the officers at the council discovered the anomaly over the weekend when checking the master payroll and realised the names of the people who were being put on payroll and paid their arrears behind the knowledge of the council’s administration.
‘‘It must be put on record that more people have their arrears yet to be settled but these nine have been getting their arrears every month,” he said.
In an interview, Botha confirmed the arrest of Chipeta.