Expenses scandal of Malawi electoral bosses: MEC ponders ‘spin’ conference

There is more to the rot at Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) as Nyasa Times still continue to publishing its exposé on the “management fraud” at the electoral body according to a final audit report. It has been established that the management were involved in expenses scandal by claiming dubious allowances.

Mbendera ( 2nd from left) flanked by MEC Commissioners

Mbendera ( 2nd from left) flanked by MEC Commissioners

Analysing the audit report which covers July 2012 to December 2014, Nyasa Times highlights personal wrongdoing of top officials in claiming the expenses.

MEC chairperson Justice Maxon Mbendera, according to the audit findings, claimed a loan for housing and furniture to the tune of K8, 219,067 which was made up of payments to Malawi Housing Corporation (MHC) at K1, 155,000 and payment to MASR furniture at K5, 390, 000.

There was also a payment for a house constructions works but disguised as a furniture loan directly paid to Durobloc Construction at K1, 031,066.94.

Further payments for Mbendera were made to GAME Stores for gymnastics equipment amounting to K533, 500 and K109, 500 for a three months TV subscription to Multichoice Malawi

The report also fingers chief elections officer Willie who collected an emergency allowance of K2, 083,219 made up of personal loan when going to Arusha, Tanzania costing K446, 219.40) and emergency advance of K1, 500,000.

Others commissioners were named in collecting questionable emergency allowances. They included Dr Wellington Nakanga (K1, 400,000), Stanly Billiati (K250, 000), Rev. Mezuwa Banda (K700, 000), Elby Kalonga Mtafu (K1, 800,000), Rev Emmanuel Chimkwita Phiri – (K500, 000) and Thandi Nkovole (K1, 000,000).

Others in emergency loans scandal include Ayanja Kumitengo, the secretary to chief elections officer (K500, 000), G. Sikwese (K20, 000).

The MEC advances account for loans had been drawn K25, 000,000.

The report says the honoraria for Commissioners and staff salaries were paid from Accountant General.

The chairman’s secretary wrote a an internal memo on 27th August 2014 stating: “His Lordship would like to surrender the K6 million gratuity at the end of term of office to clear the debt and the balance of K2,109,566.94 be cleared within 24 months effective October 2014.”

Gratuity is only paid after successful completion on the contract period. It is therefore observed to be wrong to surrender a gratuity to clear the loan while the contract period has not come to an end.

The Malawi Public Service Regulations stipulate public relevant authority may grant loans to employees in respect of education, emergency, bicycle, motor vehicle and general purpose fund.

Special funds must be identified and put into an official loan revolving fund account from which personal loans should be paid.

However, the audit findings revealed that personal loans were paid out of elections operational funds “with no evidence of repayment” therefore defrauded the public.

MEC management response to the query was that “they considered as another way of investing the idle funds for the transfer to MEC staff private loans account.”

Management also blamed the practice on pressure from politicians they work with.

“However, we sometimes pay loans from operating funds due to pressure from politicians we work with,” MEC responded to the audit query.

Meanwhile, MEC spokesman Sangwani Mwafulira had advised the commission to have a news conference to spin on the contents of the investigative audit.

In an internal email to the commissioners, seen by Nyasa Times, Mwafulirwa writes: “We will have a marathon of articles from this audit report.  My suggestion is that we to hold a big press briefing may be by the MEC chairman, where all these issues will be clarified.

“It would be good if it is recorded and rebroadcast on radio or TV. If we have a press briefing we
will have our stance heard and communicated to all stakeholders.”

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57 thoughts on “Expenses scandal of Malawi electoral bosses: MEC ponders ‘spin’ conference”

  1. Natalia wa Dedza says:

    Mbava za Chiluka pa Malawi . Justice Mbendera , Kalonga, ndiuyunso Rev Chimkwita Phiri DZ7007 kuchinda akazi aeni ake

  2. Balamanthu says:

    Both willie kalonga and maxon Mbendera have no integrity at all.How can the whole country entrust them to run credible elections?We do need total overhaul at MEC and change the way the systems of our elections are administered.This is what made Buhari win the Nigerian elections.Unfortunately, the largest opposition in the name of the MCP is focusing on politics rather than mobilizing for this to happen so that we have a fair and credible election in future so that Malawians choice is expressed accordingly.Otherwise, the DPP mafia will keep robbing us of our choices and also keep ruling through backhanded means.

  3. victim Chamkhuni Lwazazi says:

    Worrying dubious allowances and cheating benefits. The Mbedera and group of money hungry members – each one of them. They completely fail to run the elections because their hearts and eyes were on money, self enrichment. These guys always shed crocodile tears when things they deliberately plan go against the will of Malawians, justice, religion of all walks – as long as they are appeased with money and other resources.

    But a day will come when their powers will wilt.

  4. Paradiso says:

    The problem is the we know how corrupt are lawyers are and yet we trust them with huge responsibilities. Don’t expect anything good from the.

  5. akupha says:

    THE GOOD NEWS IT WAS A LOAN. AS LONG AS THEY ARE PAYING I DO NOT THINK THERE IS A PROBLEM.

  6. Paradiso says:

    Tembo is clean. Remember that she is coming from MCP where integrity is paramount. So try them in 2019

  7. i miss kamuzu says:

    hahaha! ngati akutoma ma reverend amene ndiye palinso chabwino pa malawi? is this country just a free for all?

    that’s why kamuzu amalemba azungu ngati ma manager ku presscorp. amalawi simungathe kuyendetsa company. and by ‘company’ ndikutanthauza zambilitu…..where is john tembo kodi?

  8. blessings says:

    Mmmmh,Malawi dziko lovetsa chisoni,misonkho ya yathu imabedwa dairy,oh Lord,why?dairy muva kuti mu boma mu abs ma million or billions while the majority we’re poor..save us Lord…..patokha sitingathe.

  9. hangman Mtambo says:

    Malawi leadership has gone down the toilet. Komatu ili nthawi ya JB and Kasambara bwezi amalawi mukuhauka zedi. Kaya zanu izo, ubwino wake it is your country, your choices, and your prejudices.

    Ife tili phee ku ulaya bambo ndipo sikukoma kwake kamoyo kopanda malungo!

  10. Change says:

    The works of DPP

  11. Mtembozude says:

    Tsopano aziba a justice of appeal ndiye aweluza bwanji corruption cases? He should resign from his position as a judge. Akhala bwanji judge akumaba? Kulira kuja amkalilira ndalama zakuba?

  12. Zagwazatha says:

    Misozi ya Joyce Banda zotsatila zake ndizimenezi a bwana Chair. Munamubera nzimayi uja mavoti dzuwa liri gaaa. Zodiak nkukhala chida chowulutsa ma results a bodza aja. Kudandaula kwa JB ndi anthu amene anamuvotera womwe pafupi fupi anakwana 3/4 ya anthu amene anavota nkumene lero kukukuikani mmavuto. Imene munapanga ijaq ndi robbery. Lero ndi izi mukuyaluka ndi ma loan opanda ndondomeko. Nyasatimes naoni amenewa ayalukedi. Lero magetsi akuzimazima, madzi sakutuluka mmipopi, akunyamuka ndi anthu 121 ulendo wa ku America, akupanga hire Jet pamene a Malawi akudandaula kuti ndalama ili pa minga. Misozi yanu ija bwana imatanthauza zimenezi.

  13. captain says:

    Kani mbendela ndiwe mbala chonchi

  14. Kaligondo says:

    Koma alomwe ?muziona chaka chino ,mufunse lutepo

  15. kabotolokamo says:

    And any sane person should listen Max and his team?, the guy is as useless as anything . Malawians when are we going to wake up and get rid of stuff like this so our children can live better , but we end up with people like these …. oh dear .. where are the sane people that want good for the people of Malawi and not just their families?

  16. Tina says:

    Onse ngokuba, Onse dzivunde haaa. Is better to be abolished

  17. Gule Wamkulu says:

    Paja Nyasa Times yasamuka from People’s Party to Kongelesi. So even if Nancy Tembo was involved, Nyasa Times would not write anything about it.

  18. kape says:

    Akubba makapewa

  19. If the whole judge of Suprem Court of Appeal can be invoveld in such malpractice, that is why Judicialy is failing to deliver Justice.

  20. Prof says:

    Malawi shall remain poorest nation until the end of this world believe me. It’s our culture of selfishness.

  21. Dr. Godfrey Ganizani Mvuma says:

    Mbabva Zikunjoya MMalawi. Nothing will happen to them. Honest people suffer while Mbabva go scot free.

  22. chembinsya says:

    Koma kuba kosaona nkhope….ma nyasa!!!!!

  23. ninja says:

    oooooh kodi kumeneku ndikuba ndiye ,,,,this has been happening since the introduction of mec i got friends who work there they always told me about such things but i never knew it was theft

  24. peter says:

    My understanding is that getting an emergency loan is not a crime but non-payment of such a loan becomes a crime. If there is no documented evidence of repayment, let the concerned officers give copies of their payslips to auditors (it would be unfortunate if management failed to record the deductions!)

  25. NYAPAPI says:

    If MEC can easily be coerced by politicians to flout rules as evidenced in loans dismbursments. How else can they be coerced? The case of May 2014 general elections. Discuss. 20 Marks

  26. MLOMWE says:

    ACB i want to see you in this

  27. kadamanja says:

    I THINK MALAWI SHOULD CHANGE THE LAWS. WHO EVER HAS COMMITTED A CRIME IN THE GOVERNMENT POSITION OR ANY CIVIL SERVANT, SHOULD NOT GET INVOLVED IN POLITICS. THINGS MIGHT CHANGE. ALL MEC SHOULD GO NOW INCLUDING GALU WAMKULU MBENDERA.

  28. Victor Jumbo says:

    These people were employed to serve the public, that’s Malawian people but what they have ended up is self enrichment at our own expense. This is not right and the involved culprits should be brought to book and asked pay back with interests all that they stolen from us, Malawians. No one should be shielding them at all. It’s like Malawi is a free country for all leaders to still, where there can conduct shady deals and engage in corruption activities while everyone is watching without fear of repercussions or punishment of any sort at all
    Where is Malawi as a country going with almost everybody especially those in authority and well respected indulge themselves in shady deals and corruption activities. The police force, the Army, government officials, doctors in hospitals selling medicine and equipments to private clinics through dubious means. There is indeed no one to trust that can do a proper and clean jobs without being corrupted. The clergy have joined in and it’s like Malawi is the only country in the world as poor as we are where people in authority in different organisations, institutions and parastatals can steal, engage in corruption activities and carry out shady deals in the open without fear of being punished for wrong doing as long as you serve the government of the day. The leaders who are supposed to sort out the mess are also involved and they turn a blind eye because they not only benefits from these corrupt officials but for fear of their bad acts being known to the public. The president can’t touch them, he busy with mapwevupwevu and by spending millions of kwacha on the wants and necessity. what a mistake to have voted into power such people . Only the Malawian people can bring change that will benefit all the people without fear or favour
    Please don’t take us for granted, we watching you all and time will come when you will be held responsible and accountable.
    Victor Jumbo

  29. Hard-core groups like boko haram,some in Somalia and Isis did not just mushroom out of the blue, they are young poor people who have gotten tired of waiting for 1. The jobs 2. Development in their respective areas,to avail. While those people in power they keep getting richer and richer, and when the jobs open up they give them to their relatives. Now these people like MEC chairman and his cohorts, they thought they were putting the money to good use by loaning each other and never pay back, because the money was just there, really? As for me mbendera I have lost respect for you.

  30. Masambelo says:

    Monkey Thieves

  31. Kikikiki koma ya Abwana Mbendera ndizimenezo no matter what God watches everything

  32. Kandapako says:

    To MEC: The honourable action for all you Commissioners, especially you Maxon Mbendera, is to resign. It is very very shameful that a supposedly learned person, like you Maxon Mbendera, should indulge in such malpractices. This is despicable to say the least.
    To Honourable MPs: Please change the legal instrument for MEC to be effectively and truly be independent. You have the powers to do that.
    To Nyasa Times: You are the best electronic media house for us Malawians. Do not be intimidated by any evil forces. You are now being instrumental and catalyzing change for a better Malawi.

  33. Bastardo says:

    Mec should be closed again and new commissioners and secretariat put in place

  34. Kennedy says:

    I would like to see this rubbish mbendera in jail one day, he sold us to this demonic party and yet he is squandering public funds. Where are the human right activist in our country? Even the so-called opposition is asleep? My Good, have mercy on us and remove these rubbishes by any means. Where is cardiac arrest????? If evil leaders can die will sing with joy.

  35. Nangozo says:

    A man/woman of integrity who can find?

  36. mathanyula fote says:

    The whole MEC only K25 million kwacha. Audit other parastetal organizations. Please remember that security for any such ngongole in such organizations is PENSION. As long as one signed forms for loans that is the end of the game.No corruption at all. Imagine nyasatimes wrote that Bushiri had 100 constables on his crusade yet Bushiri says it was ”10 constables”. Malawians are liars and that type of lies is pulling down the country. LEARN HOW TO TELL THE TRUTH PLEASE.

  37. chatonda says:

    Congratulations to Nyasatimes for the good job done. Please keep it up with your good job in all other government departments. Wina mpaka alira ku MEC to try to defend but all will be in vain. You have been exposed to the skin.

  38. Chisomo Nyondo says:

    Nyasatines, what is the issue here? I’s there anything wrong with Mbendera getting a loan from his employer ? The report doesn’t say the commissioners are not being deducted. Which employee doesn’t get loans from employers? I just gave my houseboy a loan of k20,000.00. What is wrong with this?

  39. Chidelunde says:

    No MCP commissioner involved in shady deals. Very clean people from a clean party that knows that this is a service to the public not self-enrichment

  40. You think the house that have mushroomed in Lilongwe are from salaries? It’s our taxes being massively stolen. Malawi has had no leader or president since 1994. Corruption or0theft has been order of the day from top to bottom.

  41. Kennedy says:

    Where is freedom in malawi? All these issues expossed and noone not even organisations to stand up and marsh? Shame malawi shame. God of abraham isaac and jacob have mercy on innocent malawians. Can you remove all these oppresing watch dog?

  42. Malawiyano says:

    No wonder he was shading crocodile tears , these are cheetters and crooks , they need to be exposed more and the CORRUPTION B can’t do any otherwise , they are DPP babies.
    To hell with this country which is full of rubbish.

  43. Hangman Mtambo says:

    Mr Mbendera you gave the impression that MEC failed to deliver because of lack of funds and largely because of JB’s general failed administration.

    Are these revelations not proving you wrong now? Just like you, soon Judge Mtambo will also be proven wrong in the handling of Kasambara’s case! Trust me, trust NyasaTimes comments!

  44. Peter27 says:

    What is the next step? How will they be held accountable? Those should be the question? The problem with us Malawians is we just talk talk and talk. By nxetweek we forget this ever happened. How will the get punished?

  45. Marley says:

    Malawi

  46. Mzungumbuli says:

    Nowadays, doing good is dangerous stupidity

  47. ndadabwa says:

    hahahaha, ameneyo Maxon Mbendera (MMM). kuononga profession

  48. Bwanankubwa says:

    Cashgate mapwevupwevu ku MEC. ACB has a job to do here. Tiyenazoni!!

  49. Mabvuto says:

    This is pathetic to see such an important institution under the watch of someone like Mbendera go down like this. Where is Ethics 101?

  50. citizen says:

    no wonder fire at their wharehouse dubious electoral results midnight announcement of offiall results bwana mbendela

  51. chechipapwiche says:

    Signs of the times

  52. Tchutchu says:

    Akakhala mwana wa nkhuku amwonela makolo kuyang’ana kumwamba akamamwa madzi.
    There is nothing new in these transactions. Its the order of the day in all state companies. Boards members do get huge loans from the parastatals where they sit as board members.
    To be fair with MEC, Nyasa Times extend your investigative hand into other state companies. You will find that its just normal. As the officers have alluded to it is not easy to control politicians. To save their jobs they just have to comply and succumb to their demands. some of the loans are guises for funds channeled to to Political Parties .

  53. Bikiloni Nachipanti says:

    MEC should not get pressure from whoever politicians. It is supposed to be independent. If pressure is mounted on MEC on expenditure, why not expose them instantly to avoid audit results like these? I suppose MEC also gets pressure from politicians during elections. Thats why the Honourable Judge could shed tears easily.

  54. Yatuta says:

    Where is the leadership of this country? Is it because they are appointed by him the president ?
    Shame on us Malawians by not going on the streets to register our anger.

  55. duduzi says:

    This is MALAWI……..show me a Department or Ministry of Government where there is SANITY. Nowadays, INSANITY has become SANITY……..who says No? Justify!!!

  56. Bongo says:

    tried to look for Nancey Tembos name.. zimamuphonya pati ndalama mzimayiyu..

  57. Emmatuwa says:

    a malawi kuba ndi ntchito yawo mwaonatuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuu nokha

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