Donors go hard on Malawi
Malawi’s development partners have put their foot down on the issue of resuming direct budget support for health programmes in the country owing to continued reports of fraud and corruption, the Parliamentary Committee on Health has said.
Chairperson for the committee Mathews Ngwale said, during their meeting Thursday, development partners indicated that they still lacked confidence in the government due to, among other reasons, failure to deal with corruption, nine years after Cashgate –the plunder of public resources at Capital Hill— happened and led to donor flight.
According to Ngwale, recent incidents, such as the alleged misappropriation of K6.2 billion meant for Covid response, continued to dent Malawi’s image.
“We cannot tell donors what to do with their money when they are not happy with what we are doing. We have been scandalous over the past few years. When Covid came, there was money which had not been accounted for. Cabinet ministers were mentioned, there was change of government but the same issues continue [to resurface],” Ngwale said.
Ngwale, however, said, if taken seriously, the position taken by the donors’ group may help Malawi intensify the fight against corruption as one way of winning back donor confidence.
Ministry of Health Director of Planning and Policy Development Kate Langwe, who attended the meeting, said in a separate interview that they were working hand-in-hand with the donors to gain back their trust.
“You know the whole picture is beyond our ministry but we are working with all government ministries and departments to put our house in order,” she said.
Members of the donors’ team, which is being chaired by United Nations Children’s Emergency Fund, were not available for media interviews after the meeting.