Chakwera demands reports on K6.2 billion Covid funds

President Lazarus Chakwera has demanded reports from Covid-19 cluster committees and government departments on the K6.2 billion Covid funds and has warned controlling officers that they will be fired if the reports are not submitted.

The Malawi leader said this on Sunday at Kamuzu Palace when he provided an update on the Coronavirus response.

Last month , Chakwera revealed that K6.2 billion had been spent on the Covid-19 fight and said K60 million was used to facilitate planning meetings and monitoring visits countrywide, K535 million to facilitate return of Malawians, K580 million for joint border patrols and K72 million for sensitization on gender-based violence

There have been questions over some of the expenses and yesterday the Human Rights Defenders Coalition (HRDC) demanded an expenditure report from the government.

Chakwera during the briefing revealed that the presidential taskforce is yet to get the expenditure reports from controlling officers in various ministries and heads of various clusters of the COVID-19 response team.

He then demanded the officers to provide the reports to the presidential taskforce within two days and warned the officers that they will be fired if they fail to do so.

“This is completely unacceptable. I have therefore summoned all controlling officers and heads of clusters to meet my Taskforce in 48 hours and account for how they used that money. I will fire any officer that fails to account for the money they received,” said Dr Chakwera.

During the briefing, Chakwera revealed that Malawi has received about K2.2 billion from well-wishers since he declared a state of national disaster last month.

He thanked organisations and individuals who have donated their resources towards Malawi’s fight against the Coronavirus.

On the Covid-19 fight, Chakwera said government has increased bed capacity in treatment centers to 1100, has deployed 1200 new healthcare workers to those centers and has provided protective equipment which include 270 thousand face masks, 140 thousand N95 masks, over 7 thousand disposable gowns, and 125 thousand bottles of hand sanitizer.