DODMA fraudulently pocketed allowances during meeting to investigate Covid-Gate

Department of Disaster Management Affairs (DODMA) officers collected K2.3 million in allowances for attending a meeting where they compiled a report that was part of investigations into use of Covid-19 funds.

This has been revealed in a National Audit Office (NAO) investigation report on the use of Covid-19 funds.

The NAO audit report focuses on the use of K6.2 billion Covid-19 funds which government released last year. It reveals misuse of public funds through among others overpayment for allowances, wasteful expenditure and procurement of goods at inflated prices.

The report shows that DODMA allocated K2.3 million to officers who were “on duty holding working session to compile a report to Ombudsman on Covid-19 response investigation.”

The meeting was held in August 2020 when the Ombudsman was investigating how Covid-19 funds were used between March and July 2020.

Ironically, the Ombudsman’s investigation report released in November revealed that the COVID-19 Coordination Cluster which comprises DODMA and Office of the President and Cabinet used over 79 percent of its K320 million budget on allowances.

In a Facebook post, social commentator Idriss Ali Nassah who has been pushing for accountability on the use of Covid-19 funds has described the allocation as “crazy”.

Commenting on the post, one Facebook user said: “Our biggest problem in Malawi are civil servants. They pocket allowances for the work they are paid for at the end of the month. Rot.”