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Cash transfer irregularities rile minister

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Minister of Gender, Disability, Children and Social Welfare Patricia Kaliati on Wednesday took a swipe at officials in her ministry entrusted to administer the Social Cash Transfer Programme, accusing them of sabotaging government’s initiative to improve the welfare of poor people in the country.

Kaliati, who was speaking after appreciating the progress of the programme in Balaka and Mangochi, further accused Mangochi officials of engaging in corruption when disbursing the monthly allocations aimed at benefiting locals.

Speaking at Chingali Cluster in Traditional Authority Chimwala in the district, Kaliati ordered that nobody should speak during the meeting following revelations that some have not received their money since February.

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“Nobody is going to speak here. I will be the only one speaking because I know what you want to say. I want you to explain why you have been taking advantage of these people and lying that you could not give them their money due to network problems. What kind of network problems can be there for three months,” she said.

Kaliati then called upon senior officials in her Ministry to probe allegations that some district officials are demanding sex from beneficiaries, saying perpetrators need to be brought to book.

The minister also said government would not always be there to assist the same people.

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“The programme runs for four years and there is need for beneficiaries to graduate and be independent so that we might take on board other poor people across the country. We cannot continue with the same individuals without graduating them,” Kaliati said.

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