Ministry of Health has confirmed the report by Nyasa Times of the existence of a National Audit Office (NAO) audit report chronologizing on how some dishonest officials from the ministry managed to loot the donated funds from the US- funded Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and that K2.5billion was looted between 2013 and 2015.
Spokesperson for Ministry of Health, Adrian Chikumbe said the NAO report has implicated director of finance, human resources and HIV in the ministry as well as rank outsiders from the ministry who connived with staff to plunder the resources mercilessly.
“A total of K399, 421,090, 00 was given to individuals whose names could not be traced [and ] a total of K1,045, 068, 020,00 was issued to officers whose designation wa snot indicated,” reads part of the NAO report
Chikumbe said fiscal police will “investigate further” the scam.
The report also indicated there was poor fuel management which resulted in abuse of K277, 114, 171, 62.
Chikumbe, however, said all employees implicated have since been interdicted.
In December 2015, Malawi Government suspended 63 workers from the Ministry.
These included the Director of human resource, the Director of finance and two chief accountants to pave way for a thorough audit investigation over unjustified withdrawal of allowances and fuel abuse.
The dismissal of the health officials followed the complaint which the US-funded Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) had made to the Malawi Government where it suspected that some officials were dipping their fingers into CDC coffers which were meant to address HIV and Aids problem.
Ministry of Health Dr Peter Kumpalume told media that the stolen money were in “millions”, adding that the US-
funded Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) had written the ministry to complain that they suspected civil servants from the HIV and AIDS project were to be defrauding the said funds.
Kumpalume admitted that abuse of resources in his ministry.
“A few greedy individuals who want to benefit out of the poor are embezzling money in the health system, projects have stalled. We need to jointly come up with a monitoring mechanism, follow ethics and be patriotic.
“It is sad to note that for an individual to carry out a project the cost is reasonable but for the same project to be carried out by government the figures multiplies,” lamented Kumpalume when he toured College of Medicine (CoM) in Blantyre .
He noted that most projects are abandoned or ignored due to bloated figures.
US ambassador to Malawi, Virginia Palmer, expressed the hope that the authorities “will identify those responsible for the looting and that they will be held accountable for the misuse of funds intended to improve the health of Malawian citizens.”Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :