The Human Rights Defenders Coalition [HRDC] is demanding Leader of Opposition in Parliament, Hon. Kondwani Nankhumwa MP pays back the 3.6 Million Kwacha he received as allowances for attending Presidential Taskforce on Covid-19 as well as Cluster meetings in the next 7 days.
The HRDC also demands that the Presidential Taskforce committee on Covid -19 and the President’s office should release all the cluster expenditure reports and supporting documents as they were submitted on 9th February 2021 in Lilongwe, saying this will give confidence to Malawians that the President and his Taskforce have nothing to hide and are not protecting anyone.
The organization says after been given these documents, the HRDC will then embark on a serious “Pay Back the Money’’ campaign against anyone who unduly benefited, overcharged or inflated prices.
In a statement dated 19th February 2021 signed by its National Chairperson, Gift Trapence, the HRDC says Malawians will only take this government serious in its quest to hold officers accountable for mismanaging Covid -19 funds if it is transparent in giving information around the financial expenditures.
The HRDC says it is appalled by the news that Hon. Nankhumwa and others had been receiving questionable allowances upon every sitting of the Presidential Taskforce on Covid-19 as well as Covid-19 clusters.
The organization says the 3.6 Million Kwacha Hon. Nankhumwa pocketed could have gone a long way in saving the lives of several patients, if it was channeled directly towards the Covid -19 fight, it could have filled 36 oxygen cylinders or bought about 16 flowmeters both of which are critical for the survival of Covid -19 patients.
It is demanding that government should release all the Covid-19 expenditure reports to Malawians in the spirit of accountability and transparency on which Malawi’s democracy is founded.
……”Malawians need to know how their 6.2 Billion Kwacha Covid-19 funds was used or misused , the Office of the President and Cabinet [OPC], the Presidency, and the DoDMA have no right to withhold these reports in line with the Access to Information Act which the government has vigorously championed,’’……reads the statement in part.
The HRDC is asking government to be be committed on issues of accountability to ensure that every Tambala is used for its intended purpose.
By Vincent Gunde