The Public Accounts Committee of Parliament says the training of Malawi Communications Regulatory Authority (MACRA’s board members and management in Dubai was necessary as most of its re-constituted board members had no specialisation in ICT or financial matters.
The Committee met members of the board and chairperson Shadreck Namalomba indicated the K46 million expenditure was merited.
He explained the exercise was a specialised one in the ICT sector and the board stated the amount of money involved for the trip was K46 million thereabout.
Namalomba argued the appointed Directors are not specialised directors; were directors chosen by the executive noting that sometimes when they are hired, they don’t have background of ICT, finance or administration.
“So this particular training was for the ICT not a general one; not a governance one, it wasn’t the same as or usual training for board members. So on that basis from the Committee, we noted that yes the issue was reported in the media but I think there is something because that issue we needed Macra there. This issue came out into the media by a whistleblower.
“When you look at K46 million and when you look at the fact that it was a specialised training, the view of the Committee was that this was a reasonable expenditure. However, they were supposed to be sensitive and particularly this time when one there is COVID and two that we don’t have resources as a country to move forward,” reasoned Namalomba.
He further disclosed the regulator is making over K5 billion and their budget for this year was K200 million and it spent about K46 million out of the total of K200 million hence branded the Dubai expenditure a reasonable one.
The use of K46 million on a two week training in Dubai for 14 days for a corporate governance and regulatory master class on Information Communications and technology (ICT) training for five board members and two management officials attracted public criticism for the blatant abuse of resources.