Ombudsman Probes COVID-19 Funds Usage
Ombudsman Martha Chizuma has instituted an investigation into alleged lack of accountability, responsiveness, and accessibility of services and funds under the national Coronavirus (COVID 19) response plan and other interventions by government.
A letter from the Office of the Ombudsman which Zodiak Online has seen addressed to Principal Secretary in the Ministry of Disaster Management and Public Events Mr. Elvis Thodi, Ombudsman Chizuma is requesting detailed information of funding made by government or any other international body towards COVID 19 intervention in the country.
Reads part of the letter, "the Office of the Ombudsman has observed with keen interest all the interventions that the Malawi government has and continues to make in response to COVID 19 as encapsulated in the National COVID 19 Response Plan of March 2020.
Albeit indirectly, the Office of Ombudsman has also come to learn of some allegations of lack of accountability, accountability, and responsiveness of services under the plan."
In the letter Ombudsman Chizuma also wants Thodi to provide a list of all public institutions in the country that have received COVID 19 funds and a report of expenditure and activities that have been carried so far in relation to COVID 19 in the country not later than 17 July.
When asked why they have targetted DODMA, Office of Ombudsman Spokesperson Arthur Semba told us this is just the beginning and that the investigations will ripple to other government ministries and departments.
"DODMA being a coordinating ministry, we believe the information that they give will lead us to other government entities." Said Semba.
DODMA Principal Secretary Thodi could not immediately comment on the matter.
The war against coronavirus which causes COVID 19 has seen government and international organizations spend billion of kwachas.
Recently, the National Audit Office said it would audit funds in the fight against COVID 19 drawn from government account number one and donors following reports that some senior government officials were swindling the money.