Written by  McDonald Chiwayula
President Dr. Lazarus Chakwera has suspended all heads of clusters leading the fight against COVID-19 pandemic for non compliance to standard practice.
Dr. Chakwera delivering the address at Kamuzu Palace Dr. Chakwera delivering the address at Kamuzu Palace
The Malawi leader was speaking Sunday at Kamuzu Palace in Lilongwe  in a televised broadcast.
Dr. Chakwera said the officers were found wanting for submitting substandard reports without backing documents and defying presidential order.
"All cluster heads, with the exception of one submitted reports with no backing  documents and had to be told on site to bring backing documents.Cluster heads appeared before my taskforce, showing clear signs of negligence and lack of preparation.Mind you, these are reports of money that was mostly spent last year, whose backing documents, ought to have been maintained regularly as a matter of best practice.
"I have directed the Secretary to the President and Cabinet to effect the immediate suspension of all cluster heads. 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," said Dr. Chakwera.
The President has highlighted that for the past 27 years  the rot in the public service  has been entrenched in three categorical systems of  allowances, procurement and employment contracts.
"The Government system has been rigged with bad or old laws, procedures, policies, and contracts that are cleverly designed to not only facilitate waste abuse and theft, but to also protect those who engage in these acts from being fired or prosecuted. 
"The three Government systems, through which this behaviour is perpetrated, the systems of allowances. The system of procurement and the system of civil servants employment contracts. These three systems are used by system insiders to loot with impunity," said the President.
Meanwhile, the Malawi leader has delegated the Vice President Dr. Saulos Chilima to lead review of the three systems and submit recommendations to the President in three months time.
In his address the President also disclosed that Dr Chalamira Nkhoma has replaced Dr John Phuka as co-chairperson of Presidential Taskforce on COVID-19. Commissioner for Department of Disaster Management Affairs (Dodma)  James Chiusiwa has also been relieved of his duties. However, the Malawi leader  commended the two technocrats for their service  to the nation.
The Government pumped K6.2 billion last year to accelerate activities in the fight against COVID-19. The audit trail of this allocation has exposed serious lapses in management of funds within and beyond the civil service.

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