The Auditor General’s Report has revealed that the Ndola City Council allocated 95 high-cost plots in Dola Hill, Mishishi and Chibolele areas to more than one potential buyer and collected over K2.5 million from about 204 people.
The report has further revealed that six officers at the Council were paid social holiday allowances totalling K54,000, contrary to the 2014 Circular of the Ministry of Local Government and Housing.
In the report on the accounts of local authorities for the financial years ended December 31, 2015, 2016 and 2017, the Auditor General revealed that the Council allocated 95 high-cost plots in Dola Hill, Mishishi and Chibolele areas to 204 potential buyers and collected a grand total of K2,537,500.
“A review of land records revealed that the Council allocated plots to two or more buyers in respect of the sale of 95 high-cost plots in Dola Hill, Mishishi and Chibolele. In this regard, the Council collected amounts totalling K2,537,500 from 204 prospective buyers,” the report disclosed.
The Auditor General further revealed that although the Council collected K4,042,203 from prospective buyers during the sale of 330 plots in Dola Hill, Mishishi, Chibolele, Mitengo and Hillcrest areas as at March 31, 2019, the buyers had not been allocated plots.
And the Auditor General disclosed that six officers at the Council were paid social holiday allowances totalling K54,000, contrary to the 2014 Circular of the Ministry of Local Government and Housing, which abolished the same.
“Contrary to Ministry of Local Government and Housing Circular No. MLGH/101/8/4 of 2014, which abolished the payment of social holiday allowances, six officers at the Council were paid social holiday allowances in amounts totalling K54,000 during the period under review,” the report narrated.
It further revealed misapplication of the Equalisation Fund by the Council amounting to K201,600.
“During the period under review, the Council received amounts totalling K23,714,998 as equalisation funds. According to the Local Government (Amendment) Act No. 12 of 2014, a Council shall use at least 20 per cent of the Equalisation Fund received in any financial year to finance capital expenditure. In this regard, amounts totalling K4,743,000 were allocated to capital projects. A scrutiny of accounting records revealed that the Council utilised K4,541,400 on capital projects, while the balance of K201,600 was applied on unrelated activities,” it stated.
Meanwhile, the Report also revealed that Ndola City Council deducted K76,024,793 as Pay As You Earn (PAYE) and other statutory contributions from employees’ remuneration, but added that as at March 31, this year, the deducted amounts had not been remitted to the respective institutions.
The Auditor General further observed that Ndola City Council engaged 50 staff without authority from the Local Government Service Commission.
“During the period under review, the Council engaged 50 officers on contract basis. In this regard, wages in amounts totalling K1,497,170 were paid for the period from January 1 to December 31, 2017. However, the engagement of the officers was irregular in that the Council did not obtain authority from the Local Government Service Commission. Further, the Council paid wages in amounts totalling K198,975 involving 10 transactions to casual workers to carry out various activities under departments of Engineering, Housing, Parks and Gardens. However, there were no oral contracts availed for audit,” read the report.