The National Anti-Corruption Alliance (NACA) says thieves looking to profit from the Covid-19 pandemic will undermine Malawi’s response to the disease and deprive people of healthcare.
The alliance issued the warning in a statement on Monday signed by Chairperson Moses Mkandawire.
According to Mkandawire, emergencies such as this one, while threatening lives, also provide opportunities for thieves to steal more when oversight institutions are weak.
We have learned from previous disasters that even in times of crisis, there are those who aim to profit from others’ misfortune,” he said.
Mkandawire then urged government to be transparent in how it is managing public resources, saying there are cracks in Malawi’s procurement systems which provide potential risks and opportunities for corruption.
He also urged civil society organisations, development partners and Malawians of
goodwill to be vigilant and monitor how public procurement is being conducted.
“The procurement of medicines and supplies in health systems is typically one of the most vulnerable areas for corruption.
“With the covid-19 pandemic, monitoring corruption in public procurement in the health sector is more essential than ever.
“We need to monitor, for example, how procurement of drugs and essential supplies, such as face masks and gloves, is being carried out and raise red flags if we notice something amiss,” said Mkandawire.
He expressed hope that identifying these corruption risks before they happen can help strengthen Malawi’s response and get healthcare to those who need it most.
The country has currently reported eight cases of the coronavirus and one of the persons died on Tuesday.