United States of America (USA) has asked the Ministry of Health (MoH) to identify the 63 officials who were allegedly involved in the misuse and abuse of funds in the ministry.
The US government is a major financier to the health sector through the Centre for Disease Control (CDC) and programmes such as Presidential Malaria Initiative and Presidential Emergency Plan for HIV/Aids Relief (Pepfar), among others.
In a Facebook post made on Wednesday, US Ambassador Virginia Palmer welcomed the suspension of the 63 MoH officials.
She said: “We are hopeful that the audit will identify those responsible and that they will be held fully accountable for the misuse of funds intended to improve the health of Malawian citizens.”
Palmer also commend Minister of Health Peter Kumpalume, Chief Secretary to the Government George Mkondiwa and MoH Principal Secretary Macphail Magwira for taking action against the suspected looters.
“It is this kind of accountability that will make Public Sector Reforms real and Malawi strong and prosperous,” she said.
In The Nation edition of December 23 2015, Magwira said the 63 officers were sent on forced leave to pave the way for investigations into the misappropriated millions of kwacha at the CDC and male medical circumcision programmes.
Magwira said CDC raised the red flag that some people at MoH collected allowances without undertaking the purported field trips.
He said MoH then engaged the National Audit Office (NAO) to help with an audit to establish the truth. n