HRDC calls for Botomani and Mhango’s resignation


The Human Rights Defenders Coalition (HRDC) has demanded Minister of Information Mark Botomani and Minister of Health Jappie Mhango to resign, saying the two have abused Covid-19 funds.

The Coalition’s chairperson Gift Trapence and other members made the call in a letter on Thursday addressed to the two ministers.

The HRDC said in the letter that Botomani recently denied claims that Cabinet ministers were receiving allowances for Covid-19 duties.

A video clip which Malawi24 has seen shows Botomani and Mhango talking about removing allowances but most of what they said is not audible enough.

But the HRDC says the two were conniving to “cover up” the abuse of funds.

“This is a scandal of the highest proportion. You do not deserve to continue holding the office you are holding,” said the HRDC.

“It is more disheartening and heartless of you to note that while the Covid-19 budget is already in the red, you and your colleagues are cashing in on the pandemic.”

The organisation added that health workers have been asking for personal protective equipment to effectively do their jobs yet the ministers are spending millions.

The HRDC then told the two ministers to resign and also demanded them to refund the money that they have pocketed so far.

“We are giving you 7 days. The countdown starts today.

“Should you defy our resignation call, we will proceed with other remedies including demonstrations at the Ministry of Information,” reads part of the letter.

The organisation added that that the HRDC legal team will take the issue to court if the ministers refuse to step down and the coalition will also report the matter to the Anti-Corruption Bureau for a thourough investigation.

For the past weeks, the ministers have been part of a Special Ministerial Committee on Coronavirus.

On Wednesday President Peter Mutharika restructured the committee into a taskforce consisting of health experts, civil society leaders and politicians from the government and opposition sides.