‘A total of 46 people have since been nicked.’
Many more people will be arrested in the coming days in connection with the misappropriation of the K6.2 billion which the government set aside to help in fight against the novel COVID-19 global pandemic have said.
The Malawi Police have confirmed that on Wednesday they arrested a seven officials people in Zomba City Councils, Mangochi Municipality Council and Mchinji District Council suspected to have been involved in the mismanagement of the K6.2 COVID-19 funds.
A total number of 46 people including senior government officials have so far been nicked by the police on suspicion that they took part in the misappropriation of the K6.2 billion and awaiting to face the law.
Malawi president Dr. Lazurus Chakwera sacked his Labour Minister, Ken Kandodo for purportedly misuse of the part of the K6.2 billion funds.
Kandodo is said to have used K613, 000 worth of Covid-19 funds for a foreign trip to South Africa at a time many Malawians were dying of the rampaging pandemic which has so far killed over 3 million people worldwide.
Kandodo, who is said to have paid back the money has been pleading his innocence saying he had nothing to do with the transactions pushing the blame onto his controlling officer at the Labour ministry.
Malawi Police Service national publicist, James Kadadzera in an interview said:
“I can confirm that we have arrested seven officers in connection with the K6.2 billion funds as highlighted by an audit report, which was conducted by the National Audit Office at the request of the state president, Dr. Lazarus Chakwera.
“These suspects willl be answering to the charges of fraudulent accounting, theft of public funds and abuse of office among others.”
The police spokesperson, Kadadzera revealed that many more people will be arrested to answer fraud and theft charges and other charges.
‘No sacred Cows’
Months ago, President Chakwera in a televised national address commissioned an audit into how the K6.2 billion ($7.95 million) intended for the Coronavirus response programme had been spent amid strong suspicions the money had vanished, been misused and in some cases left idle, while people were dying and as hospitals were overwhelmed with pressure and lack of medical equipment.
Charged a visibly angry President Chakwera on the televised national address last week:
“I will spare no one. As I speak, over a dozen people who are suspected of committing the crimes exposed by the audit report have so far been arrested.
“There are no sacred cows. If the finger of evidence points to you, you are going to jail.”
Both President Lazarus McCarthy Chakwera and his vice, Saulos Klaus Chilima, politically trading as Tonse Alliance, promised to curb and nip corruption when they took office 8n June 2020 after trouncing the out of favour then ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) out of power.
But just months into office, the corruption and theft of public funds have resurfaced in the Southern African country with the vanishing and misusing of the K6.2 COVID-19 funds.
President Chakwera has said under his administration, civil servants would be made to repay stolen money and promised that he would commission further audits into coronavirus related spending and the use of funds in others areas like infrastructure and procurement.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :