Minister Ben Phiri appeals for transparency on Covid-19 resources

Government has asked local councils in the country to uphold principles of transparency and accountability on the use of financial resources provided by government for the fight against the novel Coronavirus (Covid-19).

Minister of Local Government  Ben Malunga Phiri  calls for accountability 

Minister of Local Government and Rural Development, Ben Phiri made the call on Tuesday after conducting a tour of activities to Mwanza District Council with regard to preparedness for the pandemic.

In an interview  on Tuesday after the inspection tour, Phiri , said accountability is one of the pillars of the current administration such that failure by councils to comply would imply that there is gap as far as local governance is concerned.

“Government is interested to know how the resources that were sent to the councils have been used and what has been done on the ground at council level regarding the pandemic,” said Phiri.

Mwanza District Health Office was allocated K35 million for the fight against Covid-19 of which about K16.8 million representing 48 per cent of the amount has been spent on various activities related to the fight against the global pandemic.

Phiri, therefore, expressed satisfaction with the efforts being made in the district. However, he asked authorities in the district to address some of the gaps existing in the response to the disease.

He also commended non-governmental organisations for their financial and material support rendered to the council towards the fight against Covid-19. He said this was as a result of proper coordination between the council and its partners.

However, he warned people against taking Covid-19 lightly, saying the pandemic is a global crisis which requires concerted efforts from all stakeholders to effectively contain it.

“I, therefore, would like to encourage every one of us to stay at home where possible to prevent contracting the virus,” Phiri advised.

Earlier, Phiri who was accompanied by Eurita Valeta, Member of the Parliamentary Committee on Health, held discussions with Mwanza District Civil Protection Committee and also visited a Covid-19 screening centre and an isolation ward at the district hospital before visiting Mwanza Border Post.

Mwanza District Environmental Health Officer, Blessings Chitsime cited inadequate resources for supporting law enforcers such as the police and immigration; misinformation surrounding Covid-19 and inadequate personal protective equipment (PPEs) for hospital staff as some of the challenges the district was facing in the fight against the Coronavirus.

So far, there is no Covid-19 case reported in Mwanza as the country has registered 36 confirmed cases, four of whom recovered while three died.

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