Human Rights Defenders Coalition (HRDC) has given government a 7 day ultimatum to arrest all people implicated in the plunder of K6.2 billion Covid-19 funds. HRDC Chairperson Gift Trapence told a media briefing on Friday afternoon in Lilongwe the human rights body will mobilize Malawians to hold nationwide mass demonstrations on 29th April should government pay a deaf ear to the calls. The call comes following release of a Covid-19 audit report which has exposed abuse of the funds meant for Covid-19 response, through allowances and diversion of items for personal use among others. Trapence told the media briefing that those who abused the funds must pay back. “Those who abused the funds should pay back the money. We demand the immediate arrest of those suspected to have abused COVID-19 funds. We are giving the government 7 days to arrest the suspected culprits and to give us an action plan on how the money will be recovered. HRDC will mobilize Malawians to hold mass demonstrations across Malawi on April 29 if our demands are not met,” said Trapence. Trapence : All implicated people should be arrested within 7 days (Photo credit Maynard Manyowa) Taking his turn, HRDC 1 Coordinator Luke Tembo said the human rights body will not relent its calls until government takes an action saying Malawians are angry and need justice and accountability on how the funds were used. During the media briefing, HRDC also demanded that law enforcement agencies should investigate companies that benefited from the plunder as the report has shown that some unregistered companies benefited from the looting. Tembo : we will keep on pushing until government acts (Photo credit Maynard Manyowa) “Our recommendation is that the guilty companies should be blacklisted and delisted from public procurement. Added to that, we recommend that the Office of the Director of Public Officers Declarations, the Anti-Corruption Bureau and other agencies investigate how some companies that are not registered with the ODPOD were given public contracts,” said Trapence. The human rights body also demanded for a complete overhaul of the Civil Service, Government to put in place a legal response that deters a repetition of public looting, Government should strengthen its procurement systems to ensure that they put an end looting. 1 Audit Office has presented an investigative report on the usage and accountability of funds amounting to K6.2 billion meant for Covid-19 response. Sharing is Caring!