…UK continues to ignore channelling aid through government accounts over cashgate fears
Government lied to Malawians on the amount of money the United Kingdom donated to the country on Tuesday as assistance for hunger victims, Malawi24 can reveal.
Yesterday government officials told the media that Malawi received K63 billion to assist towards buying food for those affected by floods. The figures also made the headline on an article titled Scottish Government gives Malawi K63 billion food aid that was published by Ministry of Information’s Malawi News Agency (MANA). It was also republished by the Malawi government’s official Facebook page.
Various media outlets jumped on the figure saying it was announced by Scotland Secretary of State David Mundell at Lilongwe Kamuzu Palace, during an audience with President Peter Mutharika.
However, a press release by the British High Commission that Malawi24 has seen shows that the K63 billion figures were exaggerated and made up by the Malawi government officials.
In their statement, the UK reveals that Mundell had announced during his discussions with Mutharika, aid amounting to £4.5m (about K5 billion) “to help Malawi’s most vulnerable families survive one of the country’s worst food shortage crises in over a decade”.
The announcement brings the UK’s humanitarian support in Malawi since October 2015 to £14.5m. The aid will not be directly given to Malawi as donors are yet to lift the embargo to withdraw direct aid due to the cashgate scandal. The British government will make use of a Save the Children-led consortium that will get potions of the aid and provide small cash transfers to over 450,000 people to buy basic food supplies for their families at food markets, helping stimulate local maize and other food markets.