Malawi: Nakhumwa Ordered to Pay Back Allowances He Falsely Claimed

30 April 2021

"He has to pay back what he wrongfully claimed."

Public Accounts Committee (PAC) of Parliament has ordered the Presidential Task Force on Covid-19 to recover all the allowances that were paid to the country's Leader of Parliament (LoP) within seven days.

Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Vice President for the South Kondwani Nankhumwa who is also legislator for Mulanje Central constituency is said to have falsely pocketed K3.6 million in Covid-19 allowances and fuel refunds.

Nakhumwa who is competing for the position of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) president received the money between October last year and January this year for meetings of the Presidential Taskforce on Coronavirus.

Dr Chalamira Nkhoma, co-chair of the 'Taskforce' said; "Only Nakhumwa and Inkosi Ya Makosi Mbelwa V that were receiving food and accommodation allowances that Nakhumwa and Inkosi Ya Makssi Mbelwa."

"We will be engaging honourable Nakhumwa on the matter to recover the money. He has to pay back what he wrongfully claimed."

Inkosi Ya Makosi Mbelwa travelled from Mzimba to Lilongwe for the meetings on Covid-19.

However, Nyasa Times investigations revealed that Nakhumwa resides in Lilongwe and therefore he was not supposed to get the allowances for fuel and accommodation as Parliament foots that bill by virtue of him being the Leader of Opposition.

PAC has since given Nakhumwa seven days to return the money, which he received under false pretence in obtaining allowances.

PAC vice chairperson, Nedson Poya who is also UDF leader of the house and Parliamentarian for Zomba Ntonya in a telephone interview was coy to be drawn to comment on the matter, said: "It is truth that PAC has ordered the Presidential Task Force on Covid-19 to recover money that was wrongfully claimed."

"For now that is all I can say and I have no further comment to make on the matter," said Poya.

According to a document, which Nyasa Times has seen, Nakhumwa was entitled to K60,000 as daily subsistence allowance but he pocketed that amount twice for 10 days thus K120,000 for each day.

The allowances amounted to K1.2 million and he also received K257,694 on each of 12 days and K311,000 on each of six days as fuel refunds. This amounted to about K2.4 million.

Nankhumwa who was roped into the taskforce in his capacity as Leader of Opposition (LoP) uses an official car and is already entitled to fuel and house allowances. He is also usually escorted by a police officer on his engagements, which is one of the benefits as LoP.

Nakhumwa is on record to have confirmed that he indeed received the allowances and said in his defence that he was getting the money in brown envelopes without instructions on which amount was for fuel and which one was for subsistence allowance.

Nakhumwa, who leads a DPP break-away faction a few months ago also claimed that the revelations are politically motivated because he called out the Tonse Alliance led government over the K6.2 billion Covid-19 scandal.

The vocal and militant rights body, Human Rights Defenders Coalition (HRDC) chairperson Gift Trapence has demanded that the Presidential Taskforce on Covid-19 to make it public all expenditure reports that the 13 Covid-19 clusters submitted to the Taskforce.

" People who have been embroidered in the mismanagement, misappropriation or theft of public funds such as Covid-19-19 fund must not only be told to pay back but must also be prosecuted and face the long arm of justice," said Trapence.

President Chakwera' in his national address recently warned that his government will not protect anyone, he said:" "If the finger of evidence points at you, you are going to jail," warned Chakwera.

More From: Nyasa Times

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