Malawi President, Lazarus Chakwera, on Tuesday (20 April 2021) fired a cabinet minister and 14 top government officials over alleged abuse of millions of dollars meant for a campaign against Covid-19.
In a televised address, Chakwera—who had initiated an audit into the use of the funds—announced that he had sacked Labour minister, Ken Kandodo.
The Malawi leader said: “As for the minister of Labour, who was named by the audit report as having spent Covid-19 funds amounting to 613, 000 Malawian Kwacha on his allowances for a foreign trip, l have dropped him from my cabinet accordingly”.
Chakwera vowed to rid his administration of corrupt officials and added he did not mind that Kandodo had returned the money he abused.
“I cannot have in my cabinet…individuals who spend money budgeted for one thing on something else,” he said.
In December 2020, Zimbabwean leader Emmerson Mnangagwa sacked health minister Obadiah Moyo for abusing a US$ 60 million facility meant for purchase of Covid-19 personal protective equipment (PPE).
However, the case is still dragging at the courts.
In total, the Malawi corruption saga involves 6.2 billion Malawian Kwacha (US$ 7.95 million).
The audit is still underway to fish out more culprits and results so far show that the funds were diverted, left unused or just vanished.
“If the finger of evidence points to you… you are going to prison,” said Chakwera.
The late Tanzanian president, John Magufuli who recently passed on was renowned for a tough stance against corruption. He fired several of his government officials over graft.