Malawian President Lazarus Chakwera has fired Labour and Manpower Development Minister Ken Kadondo for improperly appropriating MK613,000 (about US$776) meant for COVID-19 interventions.
President Chakwera on Sunday told the nation that while Mr Kadondo had returned the money, his administration would not tolerate misappropriation of resources. He also said law enforcement and other agencies had been tasked to take action on abuses of the MK6.2 billion (US$7.85 million) COVID-19 Response Fund as highlighted by an audit report.
“As for the Minister of Labour, who was named by the audit report as having spent COVID funds amounting to K613,000 on his allowances for a foreign trip, I have dropped him from my cabinet accordingly,” said President Chakwera.
Kandodo has since said ministers are not responsible for monetary allocations, but he has accepted the sacking.
President Chakwera ordered the relevant agencies to bring to book every individual and company named in the audit report as an illegal beneficiary of the COVID-19 Response Fund. He said implicated companies would be blacklisted from doing any business with his government.
On February 14, 2021, President Chakwera interdicted controlling officers of COVID-19 clusters when reports emerged that funds were being misused.
Among the interdicted officers were the district commissioners and the then co-chairperson of Presidential Taskforce Committee on COVID-19, Dr John Phuka; and Commissioner for the Department of Disasters and Management Affairs, Mr James Chiusiwa. [Southern Sun]