United States Ambassador Jeanine Jackson has called on Malawians to hold government accountable on investigations and prosecution of people alleged to have taken part in looting of taxpayers’ money at Capital Hill.
Jackson was speaking on Thursday at a reception in honour of Global Health Corps (GHC) chief executive officer Barbara Bush who is in the country to meet with experts working in various fields of health.
Jackson said governments and private citizens, through organisations such as GHC, are striving to improve health outcomes, but corruption was derailing the efforts.
“When drugs are pilfered, it is not only drugs that are lost, but lives, too. When funds are stolen from the Treasury, the provision of life-saving services is threatened.
“Malawians should not accept misuse of taxpayer and donor resources in any case, and certainly not when such corruption results in the deaths of fellow citizens,” she said.
Jackson said while donors recognise important steps government has taken since the theft of billions of kwacha was revealed, she asked Malawians to ensure no action is left untaken.
According to an update of the action plan agreed to by donors and government, investigations into the plunder are ongoing while 35 cases are currently in the High Court ready for prosecution.
Also, results of the first phase of the forensic audit are expected to be out January while a comprehensive audit starting from 2005 is expected to start soon.
Speaking at the same function, Minister of Health Catherine Gotani Hara said government has taken issues of health care seriously and would not allow people to die simply because of drugs theft and misuse of funds.
Gotani Hara lauded the GHC system of placing local fellows alongside international experts from different fields other than health.
In her remarks, Bush said she co-founded GHC because of her passion to see change and reduce inequities in healthcare in the US and the rest of the world.
Since its establishment in 2009, GHC has placed 322 fellows under the age of 30 in 16 countries.