Malawi government authorities say the coming of Global Fund Mission to the country on 13 January is not connected to the demonstrations that some civil society organizations have planned on the same day to express their misgivings on the alleged misadministration of funds at the Malawi National Aids Commission (NAC).
Information Minister Kondwani Nankhumwa says in a statement that “the truth is that the purpose of the Global Fund Mission is to provide feedback and discuss the latest draft TB/HIV and Malaria concept notes and implementation arrangements.”
Nankhumwa says one of the critical aspects of the process is engagement of relevant stakeholders which he says forms part of the assessment of the eligibility of any country’s concept notes.
“The Civil Society is particularly given prominence in as far as stakeholder involvement in the process is concerned.,” he says, adding: “The last Global Fund Mission happened three months ago in September 2014. This Mission too had engagements with CSO representatives as part of both TB/HIV and Malaria concept notes writing teams.”
In an email message to all stakeholders informing about the Mission, the Executive Secretary of the Malawi Global Fund Coordinating Committee indicated that the aim of the mission is to discuss the latest drafts of the joint TB/HIV and malaria concept notes and implementation arrangements.
“This is in alignment with the change in the New Funding Model where the Global Fund plays an active role in concept note preparation. The delegation will include disease advisors for Tuberculosis and HIV and an HSS expert,” reads the email by Victor Chinyama Executive Secretary the Committee.
However, Nakhumwa says government does not completely rule out discussion on the recent developments during the Global Fund’s meeting with the CSOs “as members of the Mission may still want to hear their side of the story.”
“If this happens, it does not mean that the Mission has been occasioned by the recent developments. The Missions are normal and routine,” says Nankhumwa.
The CSOs are calling for protests over the issue of NAC financial grant to Beatify Malawi Trust (BEAM) and Mulhakho wa Alhomwe (MWA).
NAC is said to have given BEAM and MWA K5 million and K9.4 million, but this did not go down well with some CSOs under the Grand Coalition, arguing that the two institutions do not have HIV/AIDS intervention programmes to warrant such financial support.
It is against this background that the groups have organized the demonstrations as a way of forcing BEAM, MWA to return the money they received from the Commission.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :