At least 64 people have been arrested in connection with the misuse of funds meant to fight the coronavirus in Malawi, police said on Wednesday. About $7.95 million had been put towards the country’s Covid-19 response.
Malawi Police Service (MPS) spokesperson James Kadadzera said three more people, including a senior procurement officer at the Blantyre District Council, were arrested on Monday.
He said the arrested people would face charges of conspiracy to commit a felony, making a false document and contravening the Public Procurement and Disposal of Assets Act.
The police traced people who allegedly abused the Covid-19 funds, after an audit report ordered by President Lazarus Chakwera revealed that government officers and the private sector had misspent about $1.3 million of the funds through procurement and allowances irregularities. He ordered the audit in February after the media reported that the Covid-19 funds were being abused.
Chakwera cracked the whip on Covid-19 fund looters, sacking Labour Minister Ken Kandodo.
Kandodo reportedly borrowed about US$760 from the Covid-19 funds to use as his allowance when he accompanied Chakwera on his first official visit to South Africa in November last year. Chakwera said that even though Kandodo had returned the money, he could not have him in his cabinet.
Meanwhile, Malawi has banned travel to South-East Asia in fear of importation on a new variant of the novel coronavirus.
In a statement, Health Minister Khumbize Kandodo Chiponda said they have noted heavy traffic of travellers to and from the Indian subcontinent and neighbouring countries of Bangladesh and Pakistan, as well as evidence of a Covid-19-positive case that arrived in the country from India in the past week.
In other news – Uzalo actor Sibonile Ngubane and his Wife attacked for having dirty nails on their wedding – PHOTO
This after a certain local publication shared the couple’s photos on Instagram following their wedding. Learn more