Human Rights Defenders Coalition (HRDC) ON Tuesday met two Cabinet ministers – Jappie Mhango (Health) and Mark Botomani (Information, Civic Education and Communication Technology) over allegations that members of the the now dissolved Secial Cabinet Committe on Covid-19 received K450 000 each per day in risk allowances.
The dialogue meeting was initiated by Mhango following a letter HRDC wrote the two ministers on Aprik 30 2020 demanding their resignation within seven days or face mass protests.
During the meeting on Tuesday, Mhango said Cabinet Ministers are entitled to K70,000 per night if they are working away from Lilongwe thus for daily subsistence allowance. But if hotel room is already booked, they are only given K5000.
That’s out of their duty station but if they are working in Lilongwe they are not supposed to get allowances.
Mhango maintained that nobody has withdrawn K450 000 allowances from government.
The two ministers were also quizzed by HRDC after being categorically unmasked by the media last week through a video of Mhango and Botomani whispering, conniving to cheat the people of Malawi that they are actually not getting rich out of the pandemic.
Responding to video clip which has gone viral, Mhango said he was being briefed by Botomani on what people have done to their “altered document” which was circulating, saying that’s what was captured in the video.
“Let’s just call it fuel allocation,” suggested Botomani in the video clip no realising he was on record.
“It’s always classified as such,” countered Mhango.
Botomani further told Mhango: “No, they have clearly labelled these as allowances…so the suggestion ought to be…”
But despite the two ministers’ body language depicting them like two thieves conniving to share a bounty, they have denied any wrong doing.
Botomani said in the clip they were not conniving to steal Covid-19 allowances..
Meanwhile, HRDC’s executive member and vocal rights activist Billy Mayaya( said there is need for an “external audit” to trace how thr money is being used.
He said HRDC stick to their guns that the two ministers (Mhango and Botomani) must resign.
“They should resign for betraying the trust of Malawians,” said Mayaya.
Government opened a special account where well-wishers are depositing money to assist in the pandemic.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :