Members of Parliament (MPs) under the Parliamentary Committee on Health and Population are pressing development partners to assign them an oversight role over financial and technical support that developed countries provide to the health sector in Malawi.
The committee’s chairperson Dr. Matthews Ngwale stressed that it is high time development partners became accountable to Malawians in whose name the resources are mobilized from developed countries.
Ngwale – a Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) lawmaker for Chiradzulu West – was reacting to our questionnaire, which sought to verify reports that health donors have withdrawn aid to Malawi because of theft.
The donors met Parliamentary Health Committee on Wednesday afternoon. The donors include the United States of America, United Kingdom, Germany and other countries.
Social media reports indicated that the donors are uncomfortable that they should be funding a government that is stealing money.
The reports further stated that the donors lamented lack of accountability and theft of public funds in the last one year, allegedly citing the K6.2 billion and K17 billion, which was intended to save lives from Covid-19 pandemic.
But Ngwale, in a telephone interview on Thursday, dismissed the reports, saying it is, in fact, the MPs who pressed donors to give them oversight power over donor money.
“We asked them that they should not be asking us what we are going to do with the money. Our argument is that they have the money mobilized in the name of Malawians, and, therefore, that is money for Malawians. And therefore they need to be transparent on how they are spending it,” he said.
“And the donors were very cooperative. There was no discussion on K6.2 billion,” he added.