President Lazarus Chakwera has suspended all heads of clusters leading the fight against COVID-19 pandemic for non-compliance to standard practice.

The Malawi leader was speaking Sunday at Kamuzu Palace in Lilongwe in a televised broadcast.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, who’s 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 behavior 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.

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