Minister of Labour Ken Kandodo used Covid-19 funds to accompany President Lazarus Chakwera to South Africa last year.
This has been revealed in an investigative report by the National Audit Office (NAO) which focused on the use of K6.2 billion Covid-19 funds.
It shows that Kandodo’s ministry diverted K1.4 million Covid-19 funds towards the minister’s trip to South Africa.
Out of the payment, Kandodo received about K614,000 in allowances while Labour Commissioner HKK Nyaungulu got K829,000.
“It was indicated that management would refund the amount from other recurrent transactions. As at the date of the audit, the refund was yet to be made,” reads part of the report.
Chakwera went to South Africa in November last year for a two-day visit. It was reported that the Malawi leader took a 65-member delegation.
The NAO report which was made public yesterday has revealed the extent to which public funds were abused by Government Ministries, Department and Agencies.
It shows that K80 million was lost through irregular payment of allowances, K83 million was stolen after being withdrawn from accounts, K24 million which was unbudgeted for was wastefully and dubiously spent while K423 million was spent on procurement of items even though necessary procurement procedures were not followed.
“In some [Covid-19] clusters there was financial indiscipline in that money was spent on activities that were not budgeted for as well as activities that were not related to Covid-19,” the authority says in the report.
The NAO has since demanded that officers who took part in malpractices that resulted in loss of funds should be ordered to pay back the money while malpractices that are criminal in nature should be handed over to the Malawi Police.