MINISTER of State in the President's Office (Regional Administration and Local Government) Selemani Jafo has strongly warned govern- ment officials against any misuse of 82bn/- set aside for local government elec- tions scheduled for Novem- ber 24.
On top of that he gave strong warning to district executive directors country- wide, who would be a stum- bling-blocks to free and fair elections, saying disciplinary action would be taken against them.
He gave the warnings yesterday when opening a planning meeting, which drew local government elections returning officers, district executive directors and regional administrative secretaries from all regions countrywide.
"It is forbidden for district executive directors to spend funds set aside for local government elections against the plans and targets and they must be timely re- imbursed for smooth preparations and holding of the polls," insisted the minister.
He added: "I warn you as I have been told that the funds have been released. You should not by any means divert the intended use for the money must be spent as projected and any delays won’t be entertained."The minister told all stakeholders to make the local government elections a success by playing their part well, insisting that the guidelines issued on the spending of funds should be adhered to by every person.
Speaking on the allocation of financial resources, Mr Jafo said the funds had been released depending on each district or council size and the number of election posts.
“District executive officers (DEDs) are the accounting officers,” Mr Jafo said, suggest- ing that any person, who would fail them on personal grudges or sabotage would be held account- able. "During the local govern- ment elections, we want democ- racy to prevail.
Any sabotage by those entitled to oversee the smooth implementation of the elections won’t be tolerated since successful elections are a credit to the country," said Mr Jafo.
Moreover, he said those tasked to ensure the local government elections were smoothly held must make close monitoring since any sabotage by their subordinates could cost their jobs.
Earlier, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry Joseph Nyamhanga said a meeting had been organised to remind all concerned people to work conscientiously during the coming local government elections.
He said his office was done with preparations, but during the meeting they would hear from the responsible officers if they had come across any challenge and discuss best modalities for free, fair and above all successful local government elections.
Mr Nyamhanga said they had distributed key documents and stationery needed as well as voter registers all aimed at mak- ing the local government elec- tions a success.
"We have released the first phase of the budgeted funds and they are in respective districts al- ready, next month, more will be delivered for the same mission," he said. He added that during this year’s elections there would be 110,000 polling-stations, thus calling upon the DEDs to see if there was any centre that had been left out by mistake.