The Global Fund to fight Aids, tuberculosis and malaria has written the Minister of Finance Goodall Gondwe asking him to pay back $937 905 (about K394 million) following abuse of funds in 2010.
The payment of the outstanding instalment which was due on March 31 2014 is one of the three requirements for Malawi to access $574.3 million from the Global Fund under the New Funding Model.
In the letter from Global Fund to Gondwe dated July 8 2014 reference GMD/AME/CA/RT/PK/FY/14/130, the other requirement for Malawi to access the funds is an official commitment from the government to meet counterpart financing of five percent over the next three years.
“Furthermore, the access to this allocation is subject to the fulfilment of the following financial requirements: the payment of outstanding instalment of $937 905.27 which was due by the Republic of Malawi on 31 March, 2014 and relates to the amount to be recovered following the audit conducted by the Office of the Inspector General [OIG] of the Global Fund in 2012,” reads the letter signed by Senior Fund Portfolio Manager Plaikessi Kouadjani.
An audit the OIG carried out between July 1 and September 10 2010 for rounds 1, 2, 5 and 7 covering a seven-year period, found that Malawi could not account for $3 994 764 (about K1.8 billion) in funding as the transaction equal to the amount was ineligible or not adequately supported with documentation.
Malawi has been repaying the amount since 2012 and is remaining with the $937 905.
At the time of the audit, the explanation was that documents had been lost in the course of changing offices and that there was no time for physical verification of vehicles which the OIG found were bought outside the agreed work plan.
Ministry of Finance spokesperson Nations Msowoya said in an interview yesterday that he was aware of the letter and that they had responded by asking for more time.
“We had agreed with them on the repayment plan, but we are waiting for the main budget [in September],” Msowoya said.
Apart from the two requirements, Global Fund has also asked for government’s commitment to increase its current level of funding for HIV and Aids, tuberculosis and malaria in order to access 15 percent of the allocation.