Senior officials from the Department of Disaster Management Affairs (Dodma) had a grilling session at parliament building in Lilongwe on Thursday when they appeared before the Public Accounts Committee of Parliament over the K6.2 billion Covid-19 money abuse.
The officials including two directors were called to respond to the report by Ombudsman titled ‘Misplaced Priorities’.
The report is in relation with the management of the Covid-19 funds.
Parliamentary Public Accounts Committee chairperson Shadreck Namalomba wondered if Dodma approved to have about 50 percent of the K6.2 billion go towards allowances.
Dodma director of recovery response Moses Chimphepo admitted that the budgets were approved in that manner.
He justified the allowances saying there were several activities that had to be undertaken following the Covid-19 pandemic.
Chimphepo told Committee that out of the K6.2 billion that was allocated for Covid 19 management, clusters spent K136 million on conferences, K2.5 billion on goods and services, about K2.1 billion on allowances and K340.68 million on fuel.
Councils spent about K148 million on conferences, K150 million on goods and services, K641.8 million on allowances, K131million on fuel and K92 million on stationery and other items.
According to Chimphepo, challenges in the management of the funds included failure by clusters to provide timely reports.
He adds that money to clusters was transferred directly from Treasury to clusters and it was difficult to establish where the reports would be made.
Meanwhile, Secretary to the Office of Presifent and Cabinet Zangazanga Chikhosi failed to turn up for a scheduled grilling meeting with the parliamentary committee.
According to Namalomba, they got a communication from Chikhosi requesting the committee to reschedule the meeting saying he has not yet gone through the Ombudsman Misplaced Priorities report.
Chikhosi has asked for more time to go through the report before he can come to respond to issues before the committee.
The SPC is being summoned to explain how government handled the K6.2 billion issue and how government is complying to the directions that were given in the ombudsman report.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :