The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) of Parliament has given the Presidential Taskforce on Covid-19 seven days to recover allowances it gave to Leader of Opposition Kondwani Nankhumwa.
Nankhumwa, a Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Vice President for the Southern Region, came under fire earlier this year following revelation that received K3.6 million Covid-19 allowances. He got K1.2 million as daily subsistence allowance and K2.4 million as fuel allowance.
Covid-19 Taskforce Chairperson Wilfred Chalamira Nkhoma told PAC yesterday that just like any other participant, Nankhumwa was given all allowances including fuel and accommodation.
He said Nankhumwa indicated that he travelled from Mulanje, where he resides, to Lilongwe to attend taskforce meetings.
But First Deputy Speaker Madalitso Kazombo refuted this notion saying as Leader of Opposition, the Mulanje Central Legislator gets monthly allowances like fuel, security officer and House rentals in Lilongwe.
PAC Chairperson Shadrek Namalomba said Nankhumwa was not supposed to receive the allowances considering that he lives within Lilongwe and considering that he uses government resources such as cars which he gets as benefits from Parliament, being a Leader of Opposition.
Namalomba then went on to say it is not only Nankhumwa who benefited such allowances and he warned that the committee will make sure that every penny has been returned.
Recently, Human Rights Defenders Coalition (HRDC) demanded that Nankhumwa should pay back questionable allowances he received.
“We are in the fight of our lives. The K3.6 million that Honourable Nankhumwa pocketed could have gone a long in saving the lives of several patients.
“In fact, if the K3.6 million was channelled directly towards the Covid-19 fight, it could have filled 36 oxygen cylinders or bought about 16 flowmeters, both of which are critical for the survival of Covid-19 patients. We can only wonder how many lives could have been saved by the K3.6 million Honourable Nankhumwa pocked,” the HRDC said.