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Ministers snub resignation calls

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Sembereka

Minister of Health Jappie Mhango and his counterpart at Information Mark Botomani Tuesday told the Human Rights Defenders Coalition (HRDC) that they will not resign over allegations of abuse of Covid-19 funds.

Speaking during a meeting with HRDC officials in Lilongwe, Mhango and Botomani, who are accused of conniving to siphon money from government through bloated allowances, told HRDC that they have done nothing wrong to warrant a resignation.

The two ministers were captured discussing the issue of allowances in front of cameras.

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“It was an innocent conversation. The Minister of Information was only showing me a letter that was doctored that was meant to create confusion.

“I want to make it very clear that nobody can receive allowances as high as K450,000 per day in government, even on foreign trips. Which controlling officer can process that?” Mhango queried.

In a letter to the two ministers last week, HRDC said Malawians have lost trust and respect in them.

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“You have displayed behaviour unbecoming of the noble and honourable office that you hold. Just the other day, Mark Botomani, you were on [TTV] lying to the nation that you and your team are not drawing allowances from the Covid-19 pot only to be caught on camera conniving with your colleague to cover up the racket.

“This is scandal of the highest proportion. You do not deserve to continue holding the office you are holding. It is more disheartening and heartless of you to note that while the Covid-19 budget is already in red and you and your colleagues are busy cashing in on the pandemic,” reads the letter in part.

HRDC threatened to proceed with other remedies, including demonstrations or vigils at the Ministry of Information if the two ministers do not resign after seven days.

Speaking after the meeting, HRDC member, Macdonald Sembereka, insisted that the two ministers must resign to pave the way for investigations.

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