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HDRC to hold demonstrations over plunder of Covid public funds

The Human Rights Defenders Coalition – HRDC is threatening to stage nationwide demonstrations on 29 April if Covid-19 funds plundered are not recovered or culprits taken to task within seven days.

The HRDC has made the stand in reaction to a recently released report on the usage and accountability of 6.2 Billion Kwacha Covid-19 funds.

In a statement read by leaders of the HRDC, authorities are being challenged to conduct a complete overhaul of the civil service as huge sums of money were siphoned under their watch and that all suspected culprits must be arrested.

Reading part of the statement, a member of the HRDC, Beatrice Mateyu, indicated that it is shocking that millions were siphoned, diverted for personal use, unaccounted for and paid as allowances.

HRDC Chairperson, Gift Trapence, further highlighted that even when Parliament’s Public Accounts Committee is conducting an inquiry on the same, they cannot wait for them as the Attorney General’s report is well detailed and security authorities can conduct prosecute those involved.

“We demand that the Malawi Police Service, the Office of the Director of Public Officers Declarations, alongside law enforcement agencies, investigate the companies that benefited from unlawful procurements.

“Our recommendation is that the guilty companies should be blacklisted and delisted from public procurement,” reads part of the statement.

The President has further been challenged to provide an explanation to Malawians on the emerging issues surrounding misprocurement in the Office of the President and Cabinet – OPC and how the matters will be addressed.

Another demand is calling for the interdiction of senior controlling officers in government, including some at the OPC and even those at local district councils, to allow the rule of law to take its cause.

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The recently released audit report shows that among the plundered resources in the 6.2 Billion Kwacha, over 50 percent was spent on allowances.

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