LILONGWE (MalawiTalk) – If you scuffle through the audit report on the K6.2 billion Covid-19 funds, the issue of lack of leadership from people responsible comes very clear.
Well, it can be, of course, absence of leadership—yes; but, at the same time, it can also be a deliberate created absence just to use it to steal public money meant for Covid-19 fight.
In all this, though, the issue of leadership to enforce stipulated procurement laws and allowance systems was visibly absent in the entire process.
From the disbursement of the funds to clusters, the procurement processes, the allowance systems, the accountability processes, the monitoring requirements and the evaluation needs—everything looks wrought as if we are a democracy that operated without manuals and procedures.
Reads the report: “Guidelines on Covid-19 funds’ management and reporting were not provided to the clusters, as a result, preparation and submission of expenditures returns was not priotised by both the clusters and the Presidential Taskforce.”
The report further damns that expenditure on allowances were massively abused by all clusters
“The over-sight role of the Presidential Task Force failed in its duties to act on the procurement of PPEs of K850m by the Ministry of Health and Central Medical Stores Trust.
“Lapses in financial management portrayed in this report is a reflection of lack of ardent control by controlling officers,” reads the report.
Equally shocking is to note that majority of clusters, especially Department of Disaster Management Affairs (Dodma) , failed to liquidate the resources advanced to them.
It’s apparent here that the Presidential Taskforce and Dodma are major culprits in this heartless looting of Covid-19 funds. They were tasked, well-fed, to manage Covid-19 funds. They visibly failed and they must, at all cost, be held responsible. All officers in these two institutions must account and pay for the mess they have created.
The recommednations of the report should be taken seriously to send a strong message to officers who are hellbent on abusing public funds at any slightest opportunity.