10 more DODMA officials arrested in connection with abuse of Covid-19 funds

BLANTYRE-(MaraviPost)—Police have arrested 10 more officials at the Department of Disaster Management Affairs (DODMA) in connection with the abuse of K6.2 billion Covid-19 funds.

Malawi Police spokesperson James Kadadzera has confirmed of the development, saying the 10 will be charged with theft by servant.

The arrest of the 10 officials comes barely two days after the police arrested DODMA Deputy Director Fyawupi Mwafongo on Tuesday for his alleged involvement in the scandal.

The department’s commissioner Mr James Chiusiwa was fired by President Lazarus Chakwera  amid abuse of K6.2 billion Covid-19 response funds , widely known as Covidgate.

President Chakwera also fired the co-chairperson of the Presidential Task Force on Covid-19, Dr John Phuka and suspended further officials, some “for failing to maintain proper records of how such critical funds were used and others for defying my directive to submit reports weekly to my office”.

When officers appeared before the taskforce with their reports on how they spent 6.2bn kwacha (£5.8m), only one official had properly backed up reports.

Pressure had been mounting on the President to prove how the millions set aside for planning and public awareness, facilitating the return of Malawians from South Africa border patrols and supporting victims of gender-based violence was being spent.

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