Health Principal Secretary promises great changes in 2018


Secretary for Health, Dan Namarika, has said there would be improvements in the way the ministry handles public money to ensure great transparency and accountability than ever before.

He said this on Wednesday afternoon after a two-day grilling by Parliament’s Public Accounts Committee (Pac) over K1 billion audit query.

Uncompromising Pac members sent out Namarika from the meeting room on Wednesday afternoon following arguments and counterarguments which centred on a K600 million audit query for missing money at Kamuzu Central Hospital in Lilongwe.


“It was just an issue of misunderstanding. I met the Auditor General and we have sorted out the issue,” Namarika said.

He, however, promised that, come next year, there might be not just one audit query as he has put in place stringent measures to ensure protection of public money.

Namarika said the ministry has since instituted a special unit to look into records and documents of payments and other expenditures to ensure transparency and accountability.


PAC is looking at audit queries for 2012/13 financial year which showed that money amounting to K600 million could not be accounted for at Kamuzu Central Hospital.

After hours of grilling, it was discovered that the money was not necessarily stolen but it was rather lack of systematic filing system that led to loss of supporting documents for purchases or payments.

However, most of the documents were found after the auditors brought the issue to the attention of authorities at the central hospital.

The Pac members were angry to see an audit query that showed that money amounting to K16.8 million for rentals for doctors houses went down the drain as the auditors could not trace the houses in question.

Pac Vice-Chairman, Kamlepo Kalua, described this as Cashgate.

But Auditor General Stephenson Kamphasa said his office managed to trace the houses after three attempts.

“The first time we went there, we could not find the houses; on the second attempt, we could not find them and it is the third time when we managed to trace the houses. We discovered that the hospital has a very poor inventory system. The hospital did not have names of doctors who replaced others as tenants in the houses,” Kamphasa said.

The audit report also queries excess payment of K19.5 million locum allowances for medical practitioners at Kamuzu Central Hospital between February 2012 and October 2013.

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