- Oct 7, 2019
Picha: Rais wa Malawi Lazarus Chakwera
Rais wa Malawi Lazarus Chakwera awafuta kazi Mkuu wa Idara ya Usimamizi wa Majanga na Mwenyekiti wake pamoja na Maafisa wengine, kwa kushindwa kutunza kumbukumbu sahihi za jinsi fedha za kupambana na Covid 19 pamoja na kukaidi agizo lake la la kuwasilisha ripoti".
Aidha, inaelezwa kuwa Kusimamishwa kwa viongozi hao kutafungua Uchunguzi ambao inadaiwa tayari wakaguzi wa mahesabu wa taifa hilo wameuanza. Mkurugenzi wa Mashitaka ameombwa kufanya hima ili uchunguzi huo ufanyike kwa haraka iwezekanavyo.
Malawi’s president Lazarus Chakwera has fired the heads of his government’s Covid-19 taskforce, in what is being seen as his first decisive move during the pandemic.
The president fired the head of the disaster management department and the taskforce’s co-chair, and suspended further officials, some “for failing to maintain proper records of how such critical funds were used and others for defying my directive to submit reports weekly to my office”. He said the pandemic called for “strong leadership”.
“The suspensions will pave the way for a full forensic audit, which the national audit office has already begun, and a full and independent investigation, which the director of public prosecutions has requested the Malawi Police Service to conduct as a matter of urgency,” Chakwera said.
“Every Covid-19 death is tragic and to be mourned, and, although it is God who ultimately has power over life and death, the deaths that are preventable are even more heartbreaking. We therefore have a moral and civic duty to do everything we can to ensure that no penny meant for saving lives is stolen or abused, or wasted by anybody,” Chakwera, a former pentecostal church pastor, said.
When officers appeared before the taskforce with their reports on how they spent 6.2bn kwacha (£5.8m), only one official had properly backed up reports.
Pressure had been mounting on the president to prove how the millions set aside for planning and public awareness, facilitating the return of Malawians from South Africa, border patrols and supporting victims of gender-based violence was being spent.
The social justice and human rights campaigner Idriss Nassah was among those who called for proof the money was being used for the intended purpose.
The revelations that the money might have been abused has caused outrage. Malawi Human Rights Defenders Coalition (MHRDC) released a statement saying it was disappointed at the apparent failure to account for the resources.
The MHRDC said: “Equally shocking is the information that in the north, places such as Songwe, Chitipa and several other borders have never had patrols since July 2020. One wonders: what did the department of disaster do with [the] K580 million it spent on border patrols?.”
After a presidential address on Sunday, Nassah posted on his Facebook page: “Thank you, Mr President. Tomorrow, I shall be following up with the office of the president and cabinet, as I did last week, for all of the expenditure reports – in the form they were presented to him by DODMA (Department of Disaster Management) and the clusters – to be made publicly available. Together, we shall follow the money.”
Chakwera said the heads of Covid-19 clusters would be required to submit a weekly report of their expenditure, “and I will immediately deal with any cluster that fails to do this”.
“If we are going to root out the problem of waste, abuse and theft of public resources, we must admit that these are behaviours that have poisoned our values as a nation and have corroded our entire government system,” the president said.
He announced that 100,000 additional doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine secured through the African Union would arrive in Malawi this week for the protection of health workers.
Source: The Guardian