Human Rights Defenders Coalition (HRDC) has hailed President Lazarus Chakwera for taking a tough stance on abusers of Covid funds.
On Sunday night, Chakwera said controlling officers in government ministries, as well as heads of Covid clusters furnish him with expenditure reports within 48 hours.
In August last year, the President ordered the Treasury to release K6.2 billion for Covid fight. He, however, expressed surprise that some controlling officers were yet to account for the money.
“This is completely unacceptable. I have therefore summoned all controlling officers and heads of clusters to meet my Taskforce in 48 hours and account for how they used that money.
“Make no mistake: Any cluster that either fails to account for the money it received or is found to have abused their funds is a cluster in which heads will roll,” Chakwera said.
Reacting to Chakwera’s stance, HRDC Chairperson Gift Trapence applauded the Malawi leader for the tough stance.
“HRDC is happy that the President took immediate action on the matter. This is the leadership that Malawi wants. HRDC is looking forward to seeing the reports and that, whoever is wrong, the law should take its course,” Trapence said.
According to Chakwera, the K6.2 billion was used as follows: K60 million on planning meetings; K535 million facilitating the return of Malawians from South Africa; K185 million on public awareness on media platforms; K580 million on border patrols (and) K72 million to support victims of gender-based violence during the pandemic with materials and cash transfers.