The funding was provided by the UK’s the Department for International Development (DFID) through British Council as part of civil society support for the 2016 general elections.
However, a number of local NGOs that received funding have allegedly failed to account for the funds and have produced questionable reports.
Some of the NGOs fingered as having failed to account for the funds include FODEP, SACCORD and YALI.
Well-placed sources at DFID have confirmed that the local office is under pressure from its London office to close the matter and ensure that organisations that have failed to produce reports of accounts refund the money.
The financial scandal has apparently claimed its first victim after Abdon Yezi who was managing ZAP at British Council was suspended.
But the Young African Leaders Initiative has come out strongly defending itself after allegations of financial misappropriation hit social media over the weekend.
In a brief statement, YALI President Andrew Ntewewe said, “YALI has noted with deep concern some malicious statements being circulated on social media accusing our organisation of embezzling $3.5Million.”
“We would like to inform the general public and our responsible media to disregard such statement with the contempt it deserves. We understand this malicious statement is being perpetrated by individuals who have some disdain of the works we do and the principles and values for which we stand for,” Mr Ntewewe said.
And Drug Enforcement Commission Deputy Public Relations Officer Kamufisa Manchishi said the Commission is not investigating the matter.
“Following several queries on the story making rounds on social media regarding a named international organisation reporting certain local NGOs to the Drug Enforcement Commission (DEC) for money laundering, the Commission wishes to state that no such report has been received, not even through the Anti-Money Laundering Investigations Unit (AMLIU) as alleged in the story and we, therefore, deny the same,” Mr Manchishi said in a statement.