Leader of Opposition in Parliament Kondwani Nankhumwa says expenditure reports for the K6.2 billion Covid-19 response funds show abuse and has asked government to launch a forensic audit to assess the extent of the abuse.
Briefing journalists at Parliament Building in Lilongwe yesterday, the Mulanje Central legislator, who is a member of the Presidential Task Force on Covid-19, said the audit should be done within two weeks.
He said it should focus on the K6.2 billion allocation Treasury disbursed last August, barely two months after the Tonse Alliance administration led by President Lazarus Chakwera took charge.
Nankhumwa, who threatened to quit the task force if the President falls
short of meeting some of his demands, provided a glimpse of details of the abuse in various district councils which received funding but had no details.
He further alleged that said Lilongwe District Council was allocated K85 million allocation for Covid-19 response with half spent on allowances while in Zomba K30 million was diverted to other issues.
Nankhumwa confirmed that one cluster on Local Government, which had oversight over district councils, was asked by the task force to redo its presentation after its work was deemed unimpressive.
“Many departments bought tents which cannot be explained properly. These are just a few examples I could quickly pick from the many reports. It’s clear the money has not benefited the people or the sick,” said Nankhumwa.
But quizzed whether he could provide details of allowances members of the task force, including himself, were receiving, he became tongue-tied.
Nankhumwa was equally evasive when asked about the period of the audit, saying the audit should focus on the K6.2 billion. saying the audit should
The Covid-19 response expenditure both under Tonse Alliance and Democratic Progressive Party has raised serious questions of accountability.
On Wednesday, the Directorate of Public Prosecutions authorised Inspector General of Police to start an investigation into how funds have been plundered from March 2020—when the Democratic Progressive Party was in power to August 2020 when the new administration was in charge.
R e a c t i n g t o Nankhumwa’s briefing,
government spokesperson and Minister of Information Gospel Kazako faulted him for purportedly seeking political scores over the matter.
He said: “This is a government systems process and not politics. We are encouraged with the levels of interest from the public demanding accountability.
“Accountability is part of this government’s DNA and doesn’t need any partisan politics to deliver this.”
The President is currently analysing the expenditure reports and will address the nation on the way forward in due course, according to a statement from State House.