Malawi: K6.2 Billion Audit Slaps Presidential Taskforce - It Failed On Its Duty

15 April 2021

The audit report on the K6.2 billion Covid plunder under the watch of President Lazarus Chakwera has faulted the presidential taskforce on Covid failing "in its duties to act on the procurement of personal protective equipemtn (PPEs) of K850,000,000.00 by the Ministry of Health and Central Medical Stores Trust.

In essence the report exposes Health Khumbize Kandodo Chiponda role in the squandering of the public funds.

The report exclusively obtained by Nyasa Times raises moral questions if the leaders we elect can be trusted to keep the country's resources well enough because in some cases it was pure theft not corruption.

The report says expenditure on allowances were massively abused by almost all clusters including the President's.

"Guidelines on Covid 19 funds' management and reporting were not provided to the clusters as a result, preparation and submission of expenditure returns was not prioritised by both the clusters and the Presidential Taskforce," reads part of the report.

The report further faults the Ministry of Health having failed in duties by not disclosing to the Presidential Taskforce the details surrounding the K850,000,000.00 towards procurement of PPEs.

The report has damning revelations on how District councils abused and wasted finances with clear indications that the money was treated like a feast.

Zomba central hospital is mentioned on the miscalculated K85 million, Zomba prison K135 million. There are also several cases of dubious payments to hotel with K8 million embezzled but the books showed as if it was paid to Umodzi Park.

There are also cases of cash simply missing. So far K11 million being recorded as cash that went missing. On top of this there was also plenty of millions of kwacha that officials just decided to share each other without doing any work.

Nyasa Times will give you a detailed article of the report.

Meanwhile, Ombudsman Martha Chizuma has told the Public Accounts Committee of parliament that it is her wish that the government adopts her recommendations on the protection of Covid-19 money from abuse.

The recommendations are contained in Covid-19 Misplaced Opportunities report.

Among the recommendations, the Ombudsman instructed the Presidential Taskforce on Covid-19 to make formal and public a decision stopping its members from collecting allowances.

Furthermore, the Department of Disaster Affairs (DODMA) was ordered to make public the flow of Covid-19 funds from the moment it started receiving the funds.

Chizuma hopes the recently released National Audit Office report would assist in addressing the matter.

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