Malawi’s president sacks Covid taskforce boss amid graft claims
Malawi’s President Lazarus Chakwera has sacked the co-chair of the government’s taskforce overseeing the fight against Covid-19 pandemic.
The co-chair of the taskforce, John Phuka is accused of misusing $7.7m (6 billion Malawi Kwacha).
A report by the country’s ombudsman in November last year said there was lack of transparency and accountability in the implementation of the country’s Covid-19 preparedness and response plan.
The head of disaster management, James Chiusiwa was also sacked by the president “for showing a lack of toughness in demanding accountability”.
According to the government President Chakwera has also suspended 12 other members of the same taskforce team for failing to maintain proper records.
An investigation has now been ordered with possibility of prosecution of culprits.
Early this year the Malawian President declared a state of disaster in the country following the death of two cabinet ministers from Covid-19.
Malawi’s transport minister Sidik Mia was the second cabinet minister to have died from Covid-19 following the death of Local Government Minister Lingson Berekanyama also from a Covid-19 infection.
Malawi has so far recorded more than 9,000 cases with over 235 deaths.
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