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Police arrest 31 over Covid funds

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Lazarus Chakwera

Malawi Police Service (MPS) agents Monday arrested 12 more individuals suspected of having taken part in the abuse of K6.2 billion meant for Covid response, bringing the total number of those arrested to 31.

MPS spokesperson James Kadadzera said some of the arrested suspects include Ellard Naming’ona and three others from the Department of Immigration and Citizenship Services.

Law enforcers also arrested Samuel Nankhuni from the Ministry of Information; Steve Vinkhumbo from the Department of Disability and Elderly Affairs; Beatrice Maluwa from the Ministry of Gender and Abubakar Nkhoma from Mangochi Municipal Council.

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“MPS detectives are still on the ground and more arrests will follow,” Kadadzera said.

Police made the first arrests of those implicated in the Auditor General’s investigative report on Sunday, when 19 people were arrested.

The 19 include Administration Officer in the Office of the President and Cabinet Rashid Mtelera, Commissioner in the Department of Immigration and Citizenship Services Pudenciana Makalamba, former director of information Mzati Nkolokosa and Pestchem 1B Director Martin Mainja.

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Kadadzera disclosed that 10 others had been arrested in district councils such as Blantyre, Thyolo, Zomba, Machinga, Ntcheu, Dedza and Salima.

In his State address on Sunday, President Lazarus Chakwera said the government would ensure that there were no sacred cows in cracking the whip, adding that there would be more arrests.

“I want all the thieves hiding in the Civil Service to mark my words: If the finger of evidence points to you as one of the thieves who stole Covid money for saving lives while hundreds of our people were dying of Covid, you are going to prison.”

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