The Human Rights Defenders Coalition has penned the Presidential Task-Force on Covid-19 and leader of opposition in Parliament to return allowances they received within seven days.
In a press statement signed by its Chairperson, Gift Trapence and HRDC National Coordinator Luke Tembo it states that Leader of Opposition Kondwani Nankhumwa and other members from the task-force have been receiving questionable allowances during the task-force meetings.
HRDC says it is on the way fighting for people’s lives during this time when the pandemic is claiming lives of different Malawians.
“The 3.6 million Kwacha that Honorable Kondwani Nankhumwa pocketed could have gone a long in saving the lives of several patients. In fact the 3.6 million was channelled directly towards the Covid-19 fight, it could have filled 36 oxygen cylinders or bought about 16 flowmeters, both of which are critical for the survival of covid-19 patients,’ reads part of the statement.
The rights fighting body says it is focusing on Nankhumwa as he the only one whose allowances have been leaked.
“While our focus is on Nankhumwa due to the fact that he is the only one whose allowances have been leaked, we are aware that there are several more culprits in this covid-19 allowances scam,” reads the statement.
Meanwhile HRDC has asked the Malawi government to release reports to Malawians particularly those to do with covid-19 expenditures.
“This is the spirit of accountability and transparency on which our democracy is founded. Malawians need to know how the 6.2 billion Kwacha was used or misused. The office if the President and Cabinet nor the Department of Disaster Preparedness have no right to withhold these reports in line with the Access to Information Act which this government has put forth,” says the statement.
The Coalition has since asked government to be accountable in ensuring that every Tambala is used for its intended purpose.
“This is why HRDC is insisting that Nankhumwa should pay back the money in the next 7 days.
“We are also asking the office of the President and the task-force on covid-19 to release all cluster reports and supporting documents as they were submitted on February 9 at the BICC,” reads in the statement.
The statements further highlights that unveiling documents to Malawians will give confidence to Malawians that the President and his task-force have nothing to hide and are not protecting anyone.
HRDC says once given the documents it will embark on a serious ‘Pay Back the Money’ campaign against anyone who benefited from it.