Escom blocks ACB probe on public money plunderers

Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) has been blocked by Electricity-Supply Commission of Malawi (Escom) from probing the the state-owned power utility over over procurement deals.

Mathanga: We will probe ourselves

Mathanga: We will probe ourselves

ACB wanted to probe payment stand off with utility and its suppliers but the graft-busting body  says the utility had blocked its investigations.

The bureau, however, maintains that the investigations have not been aborted.

An audit report show some senior managers at Escom abused K1.3 billion by buying items without the consent of both Escom’s Internal Procurement Committee (IPC) and the Office of the Director of Public Procurement (ODPP) as provided by the law.

The utility had materials worth over K1.3 billion misprocured, according to the corporation’s internal audit report for the period between January and June 2016.

Escom board chairperson Jean Mathanga confirmed they blocked ACB investigations, saying “we will probe ourselves.”

Mathanga is doubling as Escom chairperson and Malawi Electoral Commission member.

Escom – notorious for constant power cuts and tariff hikes- has always been a “hot-spot” for fraud involving politicians.

Ben Kalua, an economist at Chancellor College said this culture of impunity of stealing from public coffers will never come to an end as long as government continue to shield corrupt gangsters because of political patronage.

“This money was abused, this might be one of the factors we have constant blackouts, this is a sign of inefficiency,” said Kalua.

Recently, the organisation’s finance director Bettie Mahuka  quit her job for being pressured to authorise alleged dubious payments which was against her conscience.

A newspaper columnist Steve Nhlane revcently wrote: “Truth be told, Escom’s inefficiency is because it has been abused, not so much by its corporate management as by its political masters. It is an open secret the organisation spends billions of kwacha to pay for equipment it hardly needs. And then we expect it to perform! We are kidding!

“Which brings me to the malfeasance of the Office of the Director of Public Procurements (ODPP). Everyone who wants to fleece Escom (and many other public organisations) hides behind the authority of this office to the point it has become one of the most abused institutions in the country. The ODPP is made to issue no objection authorisations for procurements that ought to be competed for.

“The only right qualification you need to have to get a no objection from this organisation is the right political connection. It is high time the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB)—I wish it had teeth—zeroed in on this organisation and objectively and professionally started scrutinising the thousands of no objection authorisations it issues to political masters.”

Graft continues to be rampant in Malawi, one of world’s poorest countries.

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14 thoughts on “Escom blocks ACB probe on public money plunderers”

  1. be humane says:

    Achimidzimidzi inu, then how did they manage to uncover the fraud themselves? Internal auditor amakhala officer wogwira ntchito konko sikuti ndiwakunja ayi. Akuti fruad ayidziwa through audit report lawo lomwe. Not many internal auditors in institutions have such capacity to release fruad report tafunsani ku Human Rights Commission kuti internal auditor wawo amatani ngati anayambapo watulutsa report nkomwe

  2. Achimidzimidzi says:

    Aa!! can someone investigate oneself. If he/she managed to steal from himself , am sure its possible.
    ACB is full of stupid people. How can they accept that. All staff at ACB should be fired immediately.

    Trust this lady rig elections as well.

  3. be humane says:

    all in order it was an internal audit report that discovered the fraud means there is capacity and willingness at ESCOM. ACB musasanduke choopsezera anthu kodi milandiu ingati now investigated koma siyikutha? we need action of cases you have thats only how you are measured. Mupitenso ku Malawi Human Rights Commission mukawone ziri kumeneko mwamva ACB

  4. Eugene says:

    Billy Mayaya tried to open Malawians eyes, koma anthu busy just talking nonsense asaaa..mxii

  5. Mphwache says:

    Is this the very same Jean Mathanga who approved very large loans denominated in foreign exchange at Reserve Bank of Malawi to procure fertilisers for the Subsidy Programme.?

    Is this the very same Jean Mathanga who together with Tapiwa Mutharika embezzled all in the money in the Mutharika Foundation and the Silver Hair Foundation?

    Is this the very same Jean Mathanga who…….

  6. phungu says:

    Lucas Kondowe is closed chapter . Too sad for a youngman

    1. Ben Nkasala says:

      I can’t agree more

  7. plenty says:

    Tipumila pati abale a Malawi popeza zonse sizikuyenda? Tamuganizilani munthu wakumudzi zikumuthera bwanji? Zigayo palibe, have to walk long distances osakweranso bus sangakwanitse. Nkukapezanso magetsi kulibe the other side. Ife tikudandaula, koma still tikulephera kudya bwino koma tikugwila ntchito. Anyway, God hears our cries.

  8. Muchizy says:

    how will they probe themselves? kumeneku ndiye kugotomala, kupanda nzeru kapena tingoti kupenga, the body that probes such issue is the malawi corruption bureau, also known as the ACB, these idiots anaotcha building just to shield corrupt officials in that rotten organisation. its shameful

  9. Nsadzi says:

    We have said more than once that the under performance of ESCOM is not because the company is not organized. It is largely because our company is heavily infiltrated by politicians, the DPP. With such shady deals do you expect us to maintain equipment? Do you now wonder why we have unprecedented black out in the history of this country. Civil society out there please run a campaign , #DPPfreeESCOM. Otherwise there is great fear this company will collapse one day.

    And talking about the ACB Director. I don’t believe this man can help this nation. I call him a Pro-Corruption Bureau Chief. He shields corrupt practices and therefore not worthy to be head of ACB.

    1. I second your views! Look at the smile of the official saying ESCOM will probe itself! The thinking is like that of a person who is tired looking for snakes in Mulanje mountain for food and is hungry.

    2. wakwiya says:

      If there are evil people in the world it’s in Malawi. They have no sympathy, cold and killers. Malawi is the poorest nation in the world what is wrong for those who continue stealing not to understand we should do something for our nation. If there was less corruption Malawi could not have been so poor or poorest in the world. Malawi is ruled by people who only there for money and steal from poor people. Tax payers in Malawi are less earned government workers and donors who try to help Malawi and Malawians to come up a bit. How can one be proud if u are living in one of poorest country. There is corruption in every country but in Malawi everyone one is corrupted. They protect each other because the government is tribal and friends families. The Muntharikas government is most corrupted government Malawi ever had. The two brothers have no love for Malawi and Malawians. APM don’t care his children he is stealing money for have never and will never live in poor Malawi. They have ruled Malawi as their family and tribe business. If 2019 DDP continue rule Malawi I think Malawi is finish. Why don’t Malawians have a British run Malawi. It could be better than have Muntharikas and his team. If APM was a good leader he could fire bosses of ESCOM to give warning but they are Hlomwes and friends. Ziko lanta.

  10. My Wallet is like Onion, it makes me cry when open says:

    Abale inu!!

    1. mudzalila says:

      You are not doing anything beneficial to Malawians so just go on smiling and enjoy your lifestyle of luxury. You have no idea how Malawians are suffering.Go fuck yourselves! One day you lot will be answerable to all these evil deeds you are inflicting on malawians.God is watching!!!

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