8 March 2018

Malawi: Auditor General Submits 54 More Files to ACB On K236bn Audit Query

The office of the Auditor General has confirmed that 54 more files has been completed and passed on to the graft-busting body Anti Corruption Bureau (ACB) for investigations on the audit query of K236 billion Cashgate, the country's largest financial scandal suspected to have occurred between January 2009 and December 2014.

A leaked list of names seen by Nyasa Times shows some companies are foreign and had no business links with Malawi government.

Auditor General Stephenson Kamphasa could not explain why the said companies have been included in the files, saying they will be put under investigations by ACB.

He said his office had engaged a forensic audit firm to work on thefiles alongside his auditors.

The first 13 files passed on to ACB detailing payments to 13 companies from the Malawi Police Services (MPS) and Malawi Defence Force (MDF) showed total of K17.1 billion, representing about 20 percent of the figure the auditors are looking at.

Last March, the graft-busting body released names of five companies it cleared but ACB director general Reyneck Matemba said they were carrying "fresh investigations."

Matemba said the 54 files came with "recommendations for further investigations or simply verification."

He said the bureau will"endeavour to our wors diligently and professionally."

The corruption-busting czar said names mentioned in the files will not be disclosed when investigations are underway.

Speaking in Lilongwe on Tuesday when he presided over the launch of the National Security Policy, Mutharika challenged the institutions investigating the matter to fast track and complete investigations.

Said Mutharika: "We are not doing this to please anybody but it is for the interest of the nation

Mutharika maintained that he will not give amnesty to anyone found with any Cashgate wrongdoing.

In an interview with Nyasa Times, Leader of opposition Lazarus Chakwera has asked government to prosecute individuals who looted public resources in the previous Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) administration while continuing with investigations into the 2012/13 Cashgate under the Joyce Banda administration of People's Party (PP).

"Cashgate under the PP administration was as a result of porous financial management system that was put in place by the DPP-led government," said Chakwera.

He asked authorities to bring to justice all those who, in previous DPP and PP regimes, acquired property and riches illegally.

"We hope to see this (DPP) government pursue the cashgate scandal and bring culprits to book, "he said.

The Cashgate theft is the biggest financial scandal in the history of Malawi, which depends heavily on foreign aid.

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