The Association of People with Albinism in Malawi (Apam) has accused President Peter Mutharika of misinforming the nation when he said government had funded organisations to implement the National Action Plan (NAP) on persons with albinism.
NAP has a K3.1 billion budget for activities to be carried out between 2018 and 2022.
A first tranche of K250 million was expected to be disbursed through the Ministry of Gender, Children, Disability and Social Welfare two months ago, but Apam says with three weeks to the end of the 2018/19 financial year, there are no tangible activities being implemented.
In a written response on Thursday, Apam national coordinator Overstone Kondowe said institutions which were recently mandated to implement the NAP on People with Albinism (PWAs) have not yet been funded to fully begin their activities.
He said: “Only two weeks to go before the end of the current financial year, it appears that the promise of funding NAP was apparently meant for campaign. Professor Mutharika publicly committed to Malawians that he was releasing K250 million for two months [May and June] implementation of the national action plan activities for PWAs.
“To date no single institution has accessed the funds except for Malawi Police Service [MPS] for the distribution of security alarms which most PWAs refused.”
Government introduced the plan and a fund to support activities aimed at ending killings and abductions of people with albinism in the country.
Other organisations which had activities this year included the MPS, Ministry of Gender as the overall coordinator, National Initiative for Civic Education (Nice) Trust and Apam.
But Principal Secretary in the Ministry of Gender, Children, Disability and Social Welfare Erica Maganga said all institutions were given their portion of funding from the K250 million that was released prior to the campaign period.
However, she could not say how much each institution received from her ministry to implement the action plan.
“It is not true that institutions were not given funding. In fact, Apam was funded. The money was given to the ministry. So, all stakeholders were allocated money. If Apam is saying institutions have not been funded, how come Police got their portion?” she questioned.
A snap check to find out if other institutions received funding revealed that Nice Trust did not receive the money for civic education activities, as confirmed by national programmes manager Gray Kalindekafe.
On the distribution plan of the K250 million, Maganga said she did not have readily available figures because she was not in office yesterday.
However, a source from the ministry, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said some institutions have not been given money because they are still undergoing due processes that will lead to disbursement of funds.