State Vice-President Salous Chilima has issued a stern warning against abuse of funds allocated by government and development partners to fight the coronavirus (Covid-19), including the impending package that International Monetary Fund (IMF) is set to give Malawi.
Speaking at a news conference in Lilongwe, Chilima said government has committed a lot of funds while IMF has committed to give Malawi $150 million (about K110 billion) as a direct response to help the country fight the coronavirus (Covid-19) crisis which needs to be used for the intended purpose.
Chilima said he thanks IMF “unreservedly” for the funds that are part of the Fund’s Catastrophe Containment and Relief Trust (CCRT), Rapid Credit Facility (RCF) and balance of payments (BoP) support for Malawi.
But Chilima warn those handling the funds, saying, previously government and development partners have committed billions to the health sector but the money has ended up in the pockets of a few criminal cartels and corrupt politicians while the system has been crumbling down.
“These vultures are already encircling these billions set aside to save the lives of millions of Malawians in this pandemic. To them, this is an opportunity to get rich quick. I must warn you that we are watching.
“We shall hold you all personally liable … if your criminal acts lead to the needless and avoidable deaths of innocent Malawians,” said Chilima.
He said it is is immoral to make money on this pandemic and on other people’s misfortune.
Commentators have also agreed that government should use the IMF emergency financing relief prudently to offset the effects of the virus pandemic.
IMF Resident Representative Farayi Gwenhamo confirmed the impending fiscal relief.
“In direct response to the COVID-19 crisis, our board has adopted some immediate measures to enhance CCRT which will enable Malawi and other poor nations have some debt relief,” Gwenhamo told journalists in the capital Lilongwe late Tuesday.
Through such response, she said, IMF hoped that most vulnerable member countries would channel more of their financial resources to vital emergency medical and other relief efforts.
The country’s private-owned newspaper The Nation in its editorial comment also said Malawi can now show that it appreciates the gesture to IMF by putting the money to good use.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :