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Coronavirus in Africa

Covid-19 in Africa: Ugandan MPs forced to repay coronavirus cash, Malawi gives money to poor

Red Cross volunteers register people during the first day of the government's food distribution for people who have been affected by the lockdown in Kampala, 4 April 2020.
Red Cross volunteers register people during the first day of the government's food distribution for people who have been affected by the lockdown in Kampala, 4 April 2020. © AFP - Sumy Sadurni
3 min

A Ugandan court on Wednesday ordered lawmakers to pay back money they had awarded themselves to combat coronavirus. Meanwhile, in Malawi, President Peter Mutharika announced Covid-19 cash packages for the poor to help them survive the pandemic over the next three-months. 

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The high court in Uganda has ruled that MPs must pay back any money they received as part of a package they approved to fight coronavirus in their constituencies, local media reported. 

An allocation of 2.4 million euros was paid into the individual accounts of lawmakers earlier in April, according to The Observer newspaper. It must be repaid or transferred to national or district Covid-19 taskforces. 

The money was initially approved as part of a bigger budgetary package and was intended to be used for sensitisation about the virus. 

However, the payment irked President Yoweri Museveni, who described it as “morally reprehensible”. 

Some MPs had already refunded the money. Opposition lawmaker Bobi Wine described the payment as “wrong and immoral”, saying he would return the money and not participate in such a “vile” fraud. 

Uganda has confirmed 79 cases of coronavirus with no deaths, according to the latest statistics from the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention

Malawi’s emergency cash transfer programme 

Authorities in Malawi on Tuesday announced cash payments would be made to the most vulnerable, helping them cope during the Covid-19 crisis. 

President Peter Mutharika said vulnerable households would be paid 43 euros per month for a three-month period, according to the Nyasa Times

Malawi’s government has been blocked by the country’s courts from implementing a coronavirus lockdown because no assistance was provided for those in need. 

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