Covidgate: Malawi lacks serious leadership, says Kenani

Activist Onjezani Kenani says the theft of Covid-19 funds would have been stopped if Malawi had serious leadership.

He was reacting to theft and misuse of millions of Kwacha meant for Covid-19 fight. The stolen money was part of K6.2 billion which the Lazarus Chakwera administration disbursed to Covid-19 clusters in August last year.

Kenani argued that the money was disbursed without a clear plan hence its expenditure was monitored.

“Because if the K6.2 billion had been doled out with a plan, with clear deliverables, somebody could have been monitoring the key performance indicators. This money was given out in August. This is an emergency. In an emergency, you do not monitor once or twice a year, you monitor every day. I am speaking from experience. If we had serious leadership in place, the misuse of funds could have been detected and stopped altogether by 30 September,” he posted on Facebook.

The National Audit Office which audited the use of the funds noted in its report that guidelines on the use of funds were not provided to the clusters which received the money.

“As a result, preparation and submission of expenditure returns was not prioritized by both the clusters and the Presidential Taskforce,” said NAO acting Auditor General Thomas Makiwa.

The audit report shows that K80 million was lost through irregular payment of allowances, K83 million was stolen after being withdrawn from accounts, K24 million which was unbudgeted for was wastefully and dubiously spent while K423 million was spent on procurement of items even though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.

The abuse of funds happened in Ministries, at Office of President and Cabinet, at the Immigration Department and in district councils.

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