Malawi Human Rights Commission demands prosecution for Covid-19 funds abuse

State-funded human rights watchdog, the Malawi Human Rights Commission (MHRC), has demanded a thorough and transparent audit of the K6.2 billion Covid-19 funds feared to misappropriated by public officers.

Osman: MHRC demands that every kwacha of those funds be transparently accounted for to the public without delay

The Commission’s Executive Secretary, Habiba Osman, says this is critical in ensuring that rights were not and are not being unnecessarily violated due to abuse of public funds released for the sole purpose of fighting Covid-19 and thus saving lives.

Osman makes the sentiments in a statement issued Saturday for public consumption.

She says the Commission demands that every kwacha of those funds be transparently accounted for to the public without delay, stressing that this is imperative in restoring trust and confidence in the public on how the funds were expended and how the remaining funds will be used to fight the virus.

The virus has already caused a great number of fatalities in the country, particularly, for those working in the frontlines and Osman emphasizes that no one should be left behind in the fight, hence the need for transparency and accountability.

“We wish to remind the nation that on 19th January, 2021, the Human Rights Commission made an appeal for a renewed holistic response and recovery to the second wave of Covid-19 to ensure a lasting solution, including adherence to the principles of good governance (rule of law, respect for human rights, transparency, responsiveness, and accountability). The Commission continues to believe and is convinced that for this to be effective, a decisive and inclusive leadership is strongly required. However, the recent revelations of the alleged abuse of the K6.2 billion, Treasury released in August, 2020 are unacceptable and a cause for great concern,” reads the statement in part.

The statement says it is pleasing to note that President Lazarus Chakwera has recently addressed this pertinent matter by issuing orders to controlling officers or cluster heads to account for the K6.2 billion, which was released for the Covid-19 fight. The Commission supports this stance which the President has taken.

However, the Commission has called upon the government to expeditiously act on the questions and concerns that have arisen and continue to arise on the K6.2 billion Government released for the Covid-19 fight.

“The Commission looks forward to thorough and timely findings of such accounts and the decisive actions that shall be taken when irregularities are found. Where the audit finds that funds were abused in the expenditure of the K6.2 billion, the Commission demands the expeditious prosecution of all culprits as per the Laws of Malawi,” emphasizes Osman.

She further recommends that an oversight body or bodies need to be equipped to monitor the usage of the Covid-19 funds, including citizen-generated funds that will be needed for addressing the pandemic at all levels, as it notes that the Taskforce has failed to deliver on the President’s directive of complying with 48 hour’s directive.

“The Commission reiterates one of its recommendations made in its statement of 19th January, 2021, that government should ensure maximum accountability on Covid-19 funds. Government should learn and act on the observations and recommendations that other governance bodies and stakeholders made on usage of Covid-19 funds to the previous government,” concludes Osman.

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Concerned citizen
5 months ago

I refer your attention to Section 88 of the Public Finance Act. Refusing to produce reports is an offence punishable by a fine and to five years imprisonment.

This needs to be implemented immediately.

Clara
Clara
5 months ago

Remittance of funds come with guidelines:
1. The circular which guided who can get allowances, rates and under what conditions
2. The guidelines indicated the funds should be used for case management, contact tracing & patient follow up NOT procurement.
3. The hospitals had no shortage of PPEs since mid last year obviously PPEs couldn’t be a priority.

The health workers are getting what they deserve may be MoH should revise the allowance guidelines since workers are already getting risk allowances on top of salaries.

Justice for all
Justice for all
5 months ago

That Malawi politicians will milk the country the way they want and no none will be proscuted and the bad part this president it’s too weak plus he employee his family he can’t allow them to be jail under his watch shame

Christopher
Christopher
5 months ago

Timamanga olongola ngati Alex Major. Inuso mukalowatuu.

John chidongo
5 months ago

A Chakwera mumati mufufuza za nkhani. Simunamalizebe, zofunika kuti muthe chaka kufufuzako. Ife tu khuti lili kwa inu kuti mitiuza chani. Ndipo mukangotiuza za bwerera please just step down peacefully. Your slow pace in doing things now is getting into our nerves. We are loosing patience now. Takutoperani tsopano. Ndiye kuti inunso munadya mawo, mbalame ikakhala pa nkhate siipheka. Mukukaniza bwanji kutiuza musemuja munaneramu.

akanatani Bauleni
akanatani Bauleni
5 months ago

so very pathetic, Malawian Commissions so called fighting for human rights will just wake up and demand accountability of such things just to show that they follow current affairs. Please change your approach if possible, to ask courts so that when these funds are allocated, muzizipanga nawo follow osamadikila zionongeke then muyambepo ma press briefing. makobili akasowa amavuta kubwezedwa solets learn from past mistakes. mumangokhala muma office and waiting zisokonekere then balamanthu “we need accountability of every tambala”. change your approach anthuwa anakuwelengani inside out

NZERU NKUPANGWA
NZERU NKUPANGWA
5 months ago

Wisdom!

Kudu hunter
Kudu hunter
5 months ago

And where are they going to start from prosecuting hope its right from the top and we know where that is hopefully or just another waste of time and resources this a bloody joke When is this going to stop ?????

Zio ine
Zio ine
5 months ago

No one will be prosecuted chakwera is employing relatives and friends in his grand style of criminal enterprise. He knows well that the opposition under Nankhumwa is sleeping. Chakwea is a certified thied and he used even to steal tithe at assemblies of god that is why this church never freq in the 25 years he was leader

guest
guest
5 months ago

Unfortunately this is not surprising at all. Every pot of money in the hands of govt gets stolen. Show me a programme that was implemented honestly. Leaders will make some public statements to appear to be outraged, until the next story and public appearance. This too will get forgotten or quickly solved with “apologies”. The general public has to demand better, all these loans everyone has to pay back eventually, through taxes and so on. Meanwhile, those in office will continue to abuse and abuse public funds, and get rich! There is no hope for Malawi

Nambuma Girl
Nambuma Girl
5 months ago

To ALL those who took part in stealing Covid 19 funds, take some seconds, close your eyes and think about those people we have lost to Covid 19 due to your selfishness of wanting to be rich overnight while denying the people we lost (MTSRIP) their rights to live because hospitals had no gas cylinders, medicines etc while you bought cars and houses as if you will live forever or take them to heaven. You heartless people, lamulo ligwire ntchito pa inu ndipo Mulungu akuyankhuleni.

Kuma stand napenya
Kuma stand napenya
5 months ago
Reply to  Nambuma Girl

Point of correction. It shud read ” take their house to hell ” not heaven. There is no space for Mbava in heaven. Thank you brother

Nambuma Girl
Nambuma Girl
5 months ago

O yes take their house to hell indeed.

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