Friday, August 12News That Matters

TOLL GATE SCANDLE! MK25 million looted in less than 6 months

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… 6 Roads Fund employees under probe

By Mercy Matonga

BARELY a year into the commissioning of the country’s first ever road tollgates, six officers working for Roads Fund Administration (RFA) are under criminal investigations after looting close to MK25 million, The Independent Digest can reveal.

The Independent Digest can exclusively reveal that the officers are now under criminal investigation after their methodical operations which are suspected to have defrauded the state millions in revenue, were exposed by a whistleblower.

According to RFA insiders, the syndicate was able to beat a system that was designed to detect and expose fraud early—including through a 24-hour CCTV system and police presence—by issuing duplicate receipts which were supposed to be banked to motorists.

According to our source, about 10 people were suspended in connection to the vice and they are suspected to have pocketed over 25 million kwacha in less than half a year.

RFA Spokesperson Masauko Ngwaluko confirmed the developments in an interview, but only acknowledged information relating to six employees from Chingeni Toll Gate in Ntcheu.

“Investigations are under way to establish the total amount. The malpractice has not been going on very long. This was discovered through our Toll Management System (TMS) ALERT. We have a very Robust TMS which is configured in such a way that it reproduces several Reports and Alerts,” said Ngwaluko.

He added that after the TMS raised a red flag on the issuance of some receipts for some classes of vehicles, auditors moved in to investigate the alerts, resulting in suspension of the suspected employees.

However, Ngwaluko dismissed fears that the employees beat the Toll Gate system, citing the fact that alerts of the fraud emerged from the system.

“The alleged employees did not beat the TMS since they were detected, the Police Officers manning the tollgates provide general security of the site and are NOT at all involved in any operations of the Toll Management System (TMS). We continue to be Vigilant and keep on checking any malpractices,” said Ngwaluko.

Chingeni Toll plaza is located along the Blantyre – Lilongwe M1 Road. Proceeds from the facility are expected to help finance the country’s road network rehabilitation.

The tollgates combined with another one at Kalinyeke in Dedza are expected to generate a combined total of about K5.2 billion per

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