Cashgate rears its head: Chakwera advised to nip corruption in the bud


President Lazarus Chakwera has been urged to intensify efforts to fight corruption as the leaked National Audit Office (NAO) report on K6.2 billion Covid-19 funds indicates massive plunder of the funds.

Chakwera’s administration released K6.2 billion for Covid-19 fight last year but reports showed that Covid-19 clusters spent huge amounts on allowances.

This led to the audit of the funds and snippets of the report  which has been leaked show that there was massive plunder of public funds.

Irregularities include procurement of items at inflated prices, wasteful expenditure, purchases not supported by receipts, diversion of items for personal use, fuel not accounted for, overpayment for allowances, untraceable items, irregular procurement of services, expenditure without justification and payment for activities not related to Covid-19.

The Department of Immigration has been faulted in the report for irregular procurement of personal protective equipment worth K5.7 million and spending about K2 million on allowances.

The National Intelligence Bureau spent K28.3 million on risk allowances without authorization while at Chitipa District Council K4 million was spent on allowances for work done within work station.

At Mchinji District Council, there were incomplete documentation supporting K12 million spent on allowances while at Chiradzulu District Council procured items worth K10 million could not be traced.

In various councils, there were payments for fuel which was not accounted. At Thyolo District Council this amount hit K5.3 million and at Lilongwe City Council over K2.2 million was given out in fuel refunds without receipts.

At Blantyre City Council, K4.1 million was used for procurement of goods at exorbitant prices and items worth K7 million were diverted for personal use.

State House has since released a statement saying Chakwera has been informed about the completion of the investigation. Thethrough the statement has urged  auditing institutions to make the whole report public so that nothing is hidden.

Meanwhile, Malawians on social have urged President Lazarus Chakwera to act in order to root out corruption and clear the rubble in the civil service.