ACB refuses to jump on Malawi Embassies’ fraud

The Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) has refused to investigate and prosecute cases of suspected fraud at country’s embassies, arguing they are not corruption related.

Egritta Ndala: Not corruption but theft

Egritta Ndala: Not corruption but theft

Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation is auditing the country’s embassies following directive from President Peter Mutharika who is reportedly ‘furious’ with the fraud at Malawi mission in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia that saw over K184 million stolen.

A preliminary audit report reveals that over K184 million might have been stolen covering a period of 12 months, implicating deputy Ambassador, Doreen Kapanga and first secretary for administration and finance, Fletcher Chowe, who have since been suspended and recalled from mission.

And ACB has refused to jump on the issue despite it been within its mandate.

According to Corrupt Practices Act, the bureau has powers to examine practices and procedures of public bodies and private bodies in order to facilitate the discovery of corrupt practices and secure the revision of methods of work or procedures which in the opinion of the bureau may be prone or conducive to corrupt practices.

But in an interview with Capital Radio on Wednesday, ACB’s Senior Public Relations Officer, Egrita Ndala said the reported issue is fraud in nature and the bureau could not pursue it.

“Our role as ACB is to handle corruption matters. Since the said issue is bordering on fraud allegations, it’s in the mandate of fiscal police. If we receive a complaint on allegation of corruption, we investigate and prosecute such matter,” explained Ndala.

ACB was established in accordance to Section 13 of the Constitution that calls for introduction of measures which will guarantee accountability, transparency, personal integrity and financial probity and which by virtue of their effectiveness and transparency will strengthen confidence in public institutions.

And the Corrupt Practices Act empowers the bureau to make comprehensive provision for the prevention of corruption; and to provide for matters connected with or incidental to the foregoing.

The fraud reported at Malawi’s Embassy in Addis Ababa has been liken to Cashgate scandal through which over K20 billion of public funds were defrauded from government’s accounts under former President Joyce Banda’s two year rule.

ACB has been handling the Cashgate cases which are fraud in nature. Several notable faces including lawyers and politicians have been nicked by the ACB in relation to the Cashgate.

The fraud at Malawi’s embassy in Ethiopia was first detected when Chowe allegedly wrote a cheque of US$30,000 in his name and the cheque was signed by Kapanga.

Meanwhile, government has recalled its envoys from Kenya, Zambia and Japan and relocating some at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation instituted reforms in embassies.

Government has since recalled 82 diplomats from the country’s foreign missions and plans to reduce the number further by the end of June next year.

There are 19 Malawi foreign missions of which eight are in Africa, four in Europe, five in Asia in addition to the United Nations mission in New York, United States of America.

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8 thoughts on “ACB refuses to jump on Malawi Embassies’ fraud”

  1. Peter Wa Bingu says:

    Crooks are designing ways of running away from real issues. So we need to have Anti Theft Bureau (ATB)-and then Anti Cashgate Bureau etc, etc. Evil stories everyday. Satanic acts, most of them perpetuated by people we have invested our trust on, police, politicians, our elected government reps, literally killing their own people without remorse. I am certainly not proud of being a Malawian anymore. In fact it’s embarrassing to be one.

  2. Kanyimbi says:

    Stealing and corruption are not the same. But this thief must face the wrath of law.

  3. Bob Chiswe says:

    I agree with those calling for the immediate arrest of Kapanga who is a serial thief. She has been a thief through and through and should be imprisoned for life because of her attempts to cripple the Government financially. She is also a shame to all women in Malawi and probably the worst female thief in Malawi’s history

  4. ThakoLimodzi says:

    They are part of the problem we, Malawians, have. I reported pure fraud (not suspected fraud) last year where POLICE officers at AREA 30 were collecting cash, K5,000.00, for police clearances without issuing govenment receipts but up to date nothing has happened. I wasted my hard earned cash to fone them and subsequent follow-ups but to no avail. See the way how traffic police officers are skimming government! Its like the country is on auto-pilot. Stupid, clueless, corrupt, incompetent. All it can take is for ACB to pose like drivers/passengers and arrest these imbeciles, in less than two week they will all stop this sickening behaviour. How can the POLICE officers come all the way from Mzuzu, Mchinji, even Lilongwe to control traffic or check minibuses here in Nkhotakota? I am very mad of this country…

  5. Cheyo the real northerner says:

    Go and ask police officers that have worked with Kapanga before. You Will be told that thieving is Kapanga,s character. She was once arrested within the system but she was later left free. Kapanga is also the main actor of cashgate in the MPS. She is actually the shame to the police community.

  6. Trendex says:

    NDALA KNOWS THE WORK AND IS A WOMAN OF HER BOOKS. CORRUPTION AND THEFT ARE TWO DIFFERENT ENTITIES. GO BACK TO OXFORD DICTIONARY FOR SEMANTIC REFRESHMENTS.

  7. International Observer says:

    Not surprising that the cashgate issue is taking long to resolve. What the ACB is saying is the right way to go and there is nothing to investigate because there is concrete evidence, that of a cheque which was signed/cosigned by those alleged to, what actually will the ACB do? The Auditor General’s office is the right office to initiate charges and then the police are to be engaged because it is their duty to arrest and commute the defendants to court. If you complicate things then these people will be left scotfree like their fellow cashgaters. We are even told that some of them have stolen before that this is no new thing to them, stop beating about the bush.

  8. Kenkkk says:

    All corruption is theft of one form or another but not all theft is corruption. The reason Acb is giving is really stupid, I would understand if they claimed that they don’t have adequate resources to investigate.

    Cashgate which you claim to be investigating is also theft. But why are you investigating it? Is this how these dpp thieves are now telling you Acb guys how to handle corruption and theft cases so that they go scot free?

    Embassy thefts are a continuation of cashgate corruption, hence Acb should also get involved. However as the sums involved in embassies are smaller when compared to malawi cashgate, I think Acb should put more effort on malawi cashgate without totally ignoring the embassies cashgate.

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