National

Chakwera fires cluster heads for defying his orders

State President Dr. Lazarus Chakwera has with immediate effect suspended all Covid-19 cluster committee heads for failing to submit weekly reports and maintain proper records on Covid-19 funds expenditure.

Speaking during a sixth national address on the war on covid-19, Dr. Chakwera said about 12 clusters have not yet submitted weekly expenditure reports of Covid-19 funds to the Office of the President three weeks after the Head of State directive.

Dr. Chakwera further detailed that following his summon of the cluster heads to submit their expenditure reports on Covid-19 funds, some cluster heads showed substandard reports with no backing documents.

“I have directed the Secretary to the President and Cabinet to effect the immediate suspension of all cluster heads, some for failing to maintain proper records of how such critical funds were used and others for defying my directive to submit reports weekly to my office”, said Dr. Chakwera.

The suspensions according to Chakwera will pave way for an independent investigation into the misuse of K6.2 billion Covid-19 funds which attracted public attention.

“The suspensions will pave way for a full forensic audit, which the National Audit Office has already began, and a full and independent investigation, which the Director of Public Prosecutions has requested the Malawi Police Service to conduct as a matter of urgency”, detailed the Head of State.

Dr. Chakwera also announced the replacement of Department of Disaster and Management Affairs (DoDMA) Commissioner James Chiusiwa and Presidential Taskforce on Covid-19 Co-Chairperson Dr. John Phuka citing lack of accountability on the Covid-19 funds.

The State President has meanwhile named Dr. Chalamira Nkhoma as new taskforce Co-Chair and assured to name new DoDMA Commissioner.

Chakwera also highlighted government’s plans to review and overhaul three government systems of allowances, procurement, and employment contracts.     

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