By Chapatali Ndau
The Open Contract Multi-Stakeholder Group (OC-MSG MALAWI) an organization that calls for transparency and accountability in public services has called on the Government of Malawi to ensure transparency in the procurement of COVID-19 related services and goods.
In a statement released recently the organization says the government must now move ahead to start publishing names of those contracted to provide the services to restore public trust, following a leaked video clip in which Minister of Health and Minister Information were discussing about allowances and fuels related to COVID-19 errands.
“All Procurement Plans and awarded contracts related to COVID -19 must begin to be published on Public Procurement and Disposal of Asset Website,” said the statement which was signed by Leon Matanda, Chairperson of the organization, among many other signatories including Malawi Economic Justice Network.
Matanda went on saying “it is public knowledge that donors have heed calls to support this country on its humanitarian response. In a bid to restore the lost public trust, we wish to remind the leadership on the need to ensure transparency and accountability become good and consistent practice as we implement the COVID-19 National Response Plan,” adding “Malawians should periodically be updated on the resources that are being utilized in the country’s response.”
The Open Contracting suggests that there is need to expand on the areas of national reporting.
“The National Response should improve from merely announcing statistics of new infections or loss of life to detailed publication of notice in respect of public procurement at institutional level, district level, regional level and national level,” said Matanda.
Meanwhile The Open Contract Multi-Stakeholder Group (OC-MSG MALAWI) has further called on Minister of Information Mark Botomani and Minister of Health Jappie Mhango to apologies to Malawians on the leaked video clip in which the two ministers were discussing matters to do with allowances and fuel for the Ministerial Committee on COVID-19 travel arrangements.
“Now that we have a confession on camera about the ministers drawing allowances, the ministers should dutifully apologize to Malawians for having denied about this obscene transaction,” Matanda said.