Rights activists are demanding that the government should investigate and blacklist all companies that inflated prices for goods and services during the Covid-19 pandemic.
In an audit report, it has been revealed that some companies inflated prices to benefit from the K6.2 billion Covid-19 money.
One such company is a fumigation firm owned by Pastor Martin Mainja of the Assemblies of God church and a close associate of president Lazarus Chakwera.
The Human Rights Defenders Coalition (HRDC) says government should investigate all companies that benefited from dubius deals as revealed in the report and if found in the wrong they should be blacklisted from ever benefiting from government projects.
In a statement HRDC read out at the news conference, the organisation’s national coordinator Luke Tembo said an audit report by the National Audit Office (NAO) on the embattled Covid funds shows that OPC handpicked a private firm, Pest Chem 1B at a cost of K97 million to fumigate government buildings although the Lilongwe District Health Office (DHO) could have done the job at a much lower price.
HRDC further demands the President to provide the nation with an explanation , saying the plunder of funds also happened at the Office of the President and Cabinet (OPC) and the presidential Task Force has been implicated too.
Further, HRDC has demanded that all senior officers involved in the abuse should be interdicted with immediate effect.
The human rights grouping has also demanded that those who stole the money should start paying back.
HRDC has also called on the President to institute a special court to expedite K6.2 billion Covid19 funds related cases.
They have also demanded that government should strengthen procurement systems saying current one is weak and many officers are taking advantage.
HRDC said law enforcement agencies such as the Malawi Police Service and the Office of the Director of Public Officers Declarations must investigate the suspects, failing which the human rights group will mobilise Malawians to go on the streets on April 29 this year.
So far, HRDC has given government seven days to act on all its demands.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :