MACRA goes to rent after buying building

….Treasury asks them to budget 

….working hard to disguise move 

Malawi Communications Regulatory Authority (MACRA) well known  for lack of its financial discipline is now spending millions of public resources to move its offices to Lilongwe.

MACRA bought former MTL headoffice at Chichiri in Blantyre for over K300 million and has spent more on renovations. After completing renovations, the Authority has decided to move its headquarters to Lilongwe.

The Authority will be renting in Lilongwe at a higher cost than the current Alimi House in Blantyre and was due to move to rent free premises by the end of this year.

Malawis Digital Centre is in Blantyre and most of the Telecommunications and Broadcasting Services are based in the commercial capital, raising questions as to why MACRA would want to create new costs of monitoring these providers from 320 km away.

A MACRA official explained that the technical teams will remain in Blantyre, meaning only policy and administrative staff will move to Lilongwe.

Again, this does not make sense as administration supports mainly its technical nature of the Authority and it will now have to move some of the things between the distance of 320km.

The hurried manner of moving which is expected to cost over K100 million including rentals for new office, has left staff baffled as Treasury advised the Authority to include its moving costs in its budget which was missing, meaning the movement was not planned.

“After Treasury rejected supplementary budget, they are now sending officers five nights each to try and circumvent the budget need. Officers are going to look for houses,” said our source.

MACRA watse of resources include an all paid up trip for the Board to Dubai, purchase of a K2 million mobile phone for an office assistant.

The Investigator Magazine is currently probing a case of sexual harassment cover at MACRAs Muni Project and Payments of allowances and air tickets to an officer who no longer works for the Authority.

We have sent questions to MACRA and we will update the story in our full coverage of the Authority’s waste of resources.

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