Minister of Gender, Children, Disability and Social Welfare, Mary Navicha, has warned the district council officials against misuse of funds meant for Social Cash Transfer program, saying the perpetrators will face the long arm of the law.
Navicha sounded the warning when she accompanied the delegation of heads of mission composed of the ambassadors from the European Union (EU), Germany and Ireland, who visited the area of T/A Kuntumanje in Zomba district to appreciate the progress of the program.
Zomba district is among the 15 districts benefiting from a four year €50 million project whose overall objective is to reduce poverty through enhancing resilience among the most vulnerable households in Malawi.
Navicha said: “Let me ask the authorities to use the project funds for its intended purpose because there are some officers who mismanage the funds and as a minister I will not tolerate such malpractices and the law will take its course on all the perpetrators.”
The minister also praised the EU, Germany and Irish governments for supporting the project.
EU ambassador, Her Excellency Sandra Paesen, appreciated the progress of the project saying it is an innovative way of fighting extreme poverty in the country because it has shown that a small cash which the beneficiaries get has a capability to help their families and the community at large.
One of the beneficiaries, Mary Lakisi, a single mother of six children, said through the project she benefited from the livestock pass-on program as the first recipient of five goats, she has managed to send her children to school, build a house and take part in Village, Savings and Loans initiative.
However she bemoan the delay by the authorities to disburse the monthly benefits, which she also said is little, saying it is affecting their plans, more especially when it comes to the payments of school fees.
The project is also being implemented in the districts of Chikwawa, Chitipa, Likoma, Machinga, Mangochi, Mchinji, Mulanje, Mwanza, Nzimba, Neno Nsanje, Phalombe and Salima.