Cabinet Ministers Jappie Mhango and Mark Botomani lied to the people of Malawi that top government officials including members of Special Cabinet Committee on Coronavirus do not get allowances when on duty, as it has emerged they have been pocketing “tokens” financed by the tax payer.
When Vice President Saulos Chilima raised the issue, the government machinery went bersek attacking the second-in-command that it was an unfounded allegation.
However, published reports reveals the Ministers are getting a whopping K450,000 for single day’s work disguised as risk allowance.
Prior to the revelation, first to deny was Mhango, the Minister of Health, who said there was no way Ministers would be paid allowances for doing their work while Botomani issued a long statement of rebuttal.
“There is no budget line for allowances in the funding for corona virus mitigating measures. The public will be pleased to know that Ministers and their technical officers are sacrificing a lot in the fight against the corona virus. In this regard they do not pocket any allowances despite even working at odd hours,” wrote Botomani.
He went further to lie that “the Government further appreciates the media for their understanding as even journalists that attend the COVID 19 press conferences do not even get any allowances. These measures are meant to ensure that resources made available in curbing COVID 19 are channeled directly to the actual intervention measures.”
But in a development that further worsens the trust deficit between the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) government and Malawians, it has now transpired that the Ministers are actually pocketing fat allowances.
The revelation from internal government communication Ministry of Disaster Management Affairs and Public Events deputy director of response and recovery Dyce Nkhoma has sparked public rage with Malawians wondering why those on the front line to stage a strike for them to have allowances given yet the Ministers just like that get, in a day, what is a dream Malawian monthly salary.
A leaked programme outlining field trips being undertaken by Cabinet ministers belonging to the Special Cabinet Committee on Coronavirus and legislators belonging to the Parliamentary Committee on Health to some districts purportedly to assess preparedness at district level.
But corporate governance expert Anthony Mukumbwa has condemened government for abuse of resources and mismanagement.
He said there are capable district commissioners and other experts in councils representing the Executive who can ably undertake the assignment and report back.
“Ministers are supposed to supervise from the headquarters, they have no capacity to do any monitoring.
“Priority should be buying protection gear for health workers. This exercise is mismanagement of the highest level,” said Mukumbwa in quotes reported by The Nation newspaper.
Malawi’s National Response to Covid-19 is budgeted at K157 billion with activities lined up, including communication, coordination, health, water and sanitation, security and enforcement, education, food security, transport logistics.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :