Cabinet committee plunder Covid – 19 funds in allowances
By Vincent Gunde
President Peter Mutharika has disbanded the Covid 19 committee which is acussed of plundering funds meant for PPEs.
Mutharika has replaces the committee with a robust one.
Reports circulating on the social media, have unveiled a program by a Cabinet committee on Coronavirus cashing out huge sums of allowances, K450,000 for ministers and K350,000 for MPs per day from the pandemic while health care workers are crying for Personal Protective Equipments( PPEs).
Eventhough, Government announced 2000% risk allowances, PPEs from head to top remain a challenge to enable health care workers prevent themselves from contracting the virus which Malawi is registering cases day by day.
As the cabinet committee and some selected MPs have started a tour to various councils and facilities in Malawi, Area 25 health centre workers have put down their tools demanding government to address all of their issues including procurement of PPEs, sanitizers and soap, for two weeks, patients and guardians there have been washing hands without soap.
In a letter signed by Hon. Jappie Mhango MP, Minister of Health and chairperson for the special cabinet committee for Covid-19 says the visit to some various councils in Malawi has the objectives of assessing multi- sectoral preparedness of the councils on Covid-19 and appreciate threats or risks that are at the council on Covid-19.
The tour to councils and some facilities will be together with parliamentary committees on media, health,social and community affairs starting from Tuesday 28th April- Wed, 29th April, 2020, assessing governance issues on whether all stakeholders are participating, community engagement, awareness and risk status of Coronavirus e.g border, prison and other social gatherings.
According to the letter, the committee will use available resources, utilisation and accountability systems of money sent from Ministry of Health on Coronavirus and other partners supporting the Covid-19 response at the council.
The committee will also assess implementation status on Covid-19 preparedness or response on infrastructure including isolation facilities, enforfement systems, availability of PPEs, surveillance systems on suspects, communiry engagement and any socio- economic issues in the district resulting from the ” social distance”.
About 14 cabinet ministers and 15 parliamentarians are part of the touring Covid-19 committee to various councils and facilities in Malawi covering 15 districts coughing out a total budget of M12 million for two days while in public health facilities, no medicines.
Meanwhile, Simplex Chithyola Banda, Parliamentarian for Kasungu South, has put the record straight that he is not participating in Covid-19 meetings as circulated in the media.