Malawi leader fires minister over Covid funds misuse

Lilongwe, Malawi

Malawi President Lazarus Chakwera has fired senior officials including Labour Minister Ken Kandodo over alleged embezzlement of Covid funds.

The president said the action followed an audit he had commissioned into the spending of 6.2 billion Malawian kwacha ($7.8m; £5.6m) for Covid response.

He said there would be ‘no sacred cows’ noting that more than a dozen senior officials implicated in audit report, including in his office and the cabinet, had already been arrested. He promised there would be more arrests within civil service.

‘I cannot have in my cabinet any individuals who either spend money budgeted for one thing on something else or do not ask tough questions to ensure that the money they are spending on something was budgeted for that purpose,’ the president said in a televised address to the nation.

The labour minister has been accused of diverting 613,000 Malawian kwacha of the Covid funds to pay for travel expenses to South Africa.—Agencis