Ministers, MPs receive allowances for Covid-19 duties

Cabinet ministers and Members of Parliament (MPs) are getting allowances for carrying out duties in the fight against Covid-19, it has been revealed.

According to a leaked document, MPs and ministers will be given allowances for travelling to various distrcits in the coutry to assess preparedness for the coronavirus.

The program shows that 17 trips will be undertaken by ministers on Tuesday (today) and Wednesday with 15 of those trips also involving MPs.

A leaked memo by deputy director of response and recovery in the Ministry of Disaster Management Affairs and Public Events Dyce Nkhoma also asks controlling officers to submit account details of officers accompanying the ministers.

“May controlling officers submit this morning [Monday] to the Ministry of Disaster Management Affairs, by way of memos, all officials and support staff accompanying the ministers, indicating names, name of banks and account numbers and vehicle registration numbers for processing of allowances and fuel arrangement,” reads the leaked memo.

Nkhoma told the local media that the funds are coming from the Office President and Cabinet (OPC).

The revelations come weeks after Minister of Information Mark Bottoman claimed that ministers under the Coronavirus Committee were not receiving any allowances.

“There is no budget line for allowances in the funding for corona virus mitigating measures. The public will be pleased to know that Ministers and their technical officers are sacrificing a lot in the fight against the corona virus. In this regard they do not pocket any allowances despite even working at odd hours.

“These measures are meant to ensure that resources made available in curbing Covid-19 are channeled directly to the actual intervention measures,” Botomani earlier this month.

He has, however, refused to comment on the recent revelations.

There have been concerns on social media that politicians want to use the Coronavirus pandemic to enrich themselves.

On Sunday, Vice President Saulos Chilima claimed that some ministers are directly involved in the procurement of medical supplies for the Covid-19 fight.

In Malawi, 36 Covid-19 cases have been registered. There have been three deaths and four recoveries.