Final audit reveals ‘management fraud’ at Malawi Electoral Commission

A final investigative audit report that covers July 2012 to December 2014 now obtained by Nyasa Times issued on 4th August 2015 to the recipient of Dr Ronald Mangani, Secretary to the Treasury, has exposed fraud and expenses scandal at the Malawi Electoral Commission.

Justice Maxon Mbendera: MEC accused of management fraud

Justice Maxon Mbendera: MEC accused of management fraud

According to the report, MEC were heard and responded to the audit query.

The report indicates that MEC paid K5 million duty on two vehicles sold to its chairman, Justice Maxon Mbendera and chief elections officer Willie Kalonga, a move auditors described as an act of management fraud.

The transaction cheated the taxpayers by contravening a well laid out government guideline which states that since government vehicles are bought duty free, upon disposal the buyer pays duty to Malawi Revenue Authority before ownership can be transferred.

However, MEC management fraudulently used taxpayers money for personal gain of Justice Mbendera by paying the full duty of K2,436,875 for Toyota land  Cruiser Registration number TO2966 used by Mbendera; and K2,500,000 for another Toyota land cruiser registration number MJ3373 allocated to Kalonga.

MEC  responded by claiming that under Section 3 of the Act, it has the mandate to make its own policy on disposal of all assets under their ownership.

The explainationwas parried away by the auditors when they challenged MEC to produce evidence of government approval of such policy that allows duty to be paid by government agencies on behalf of employees.

“This is management fraud that defrauded  public funds for personal gains. Maintenance costs by MEC should be recovered from Justice Mbendera and Willie Kalonga,” charges the report.

The audit report recommends further that the two vehicles be surrendered so that an appropriate valuation as they are deemed to have been disposed off at very low prices.

MEC management acted to defraud taxpayers by repairing and servicing the two vehicles to a tune of K744,976.10 before disposal.

The report further blames Toyata Malawi for colluding with MEC management to defraud the taxpayers by significantly undervaluing the two vehicles.

“The audit team made an effort to enquire from Toyota Malawi, Blantyre in order to establish the cause of undervaluation which was below or almost equal to assessed repair cost (K1, 419,000 offered value K1, 500,000 for Mbendera and K396, 854 for Kalonga who paid K385, 000) but the official who signed the valuation forms deliberately avoided meeting the auditors,” reads the report.

MEC management claimed that the Board of Survey did not find any anomaly with the valuation and sale of the vehicles.

The stance by MEC drew a recommendation from the auditors to recommend that Anti-Corruption Bureau be invited in to investigate the conduct of valuation the two vehicles.

Exit discussions held between the auditors and MEC management on 15th July 2015 included:

Willie Kalonga – chief executive officer

Lilie Longwe – deputy chief executive officer

George Khaki – director of administration and human resources

Khumbo Phiri – director of finance

Geoffrey Mbawala – director of internal audit

Edington Chilapondwa – procurement manager

But MEC issued a statement on Monday after a Nyasa Times expose,  categorically denying the abuse of K1.6 billion funds by its officers but it instead blames the ministry of information for delaying communicating to the Internal Audit Department on matters MEC raised concerning the audit report.

In a statement following an investigative story published by Nyasa Times, MEC’s Director of Media and Public Relations Sangwani Mwafulirwa says the preliminary report had not taken into consideration responses by MEC management.

“MEC did submit its responses to the auditors in good time but due to communication breakdown in the Ministry of Information, the responses did not reach the auditors in time,” said Mwafulirwa.

He however should not tell the MEC response on the initial audit findings saying they are not meant for public consumption.

“Although there is high temptation to reveal the responses now in view of the damage the leaked preliminary report might cause, the Commission will restrain itself as doing so will be flouting audit procedures and ethics.”

Mwafulirwa said the Mbendera run Commission is appealing to the auditors and their auxiliaries to maintain their code of conduct and ethics by refraining from divulging “distorted information” to the media.

But final audit report concludes that ‘ “most allegations levelled against the chief elections officer [Willie Kalonga] are true.”

 

 

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61 thoughts on “Final audit reveals ‘management fraud’ at Malawi Electoral Commission”

  1. Mavuto alipobe says:

    Our country needs prayers for good governance in each and every sector

  2. marvey marvei says:

    Nyasatimes, I asked if you have evidence that the eleven year old (ex Msosa) dilapidated land cruiser TO 2966 was indeed purchased by this judge. Well well well let us see how this ends.

  3. Brazilian wax says:

    Malawi systems always complain that they are underfunded hence cannot provide quality service to the general public and yet there is enough money for plunder. This country stinks!

  4. LUTEPO says:

    na kumalawi kuno sitidzaleka kuba ngat peter aakuba poyerayera nde mukti chan? tinakababe pakan 2019 woooo olira muzilira Kamuzu anat MCP sidzalamuliraso nde bwanj achakwera mukukakamirabe azanu anachita manyazi ndipo anavomekeza wakulu baba John Tembo akuuza zambiri ukamufuse chifukwa chake DPP !!!!!! 2019!!!!! boma

  5. Real Patriot says:

    Malawi Yowola.Aliyense anaganiza kuba from the president to the sweeper.What a nation?Mbendera was crying like a chicken in the midst of the night,after giving us a raw deal and he also continued milking us of taxes in a dubious manner.What a stone hearted man.What type of riches does he want in life?

  6. Saiziyakana says:

    Many people are trying to give Mbendera an excuse or is it himself or his accomplices doing this. Let us be focused – this has to stop. Mbendera and his position is not supposed to be involved in such malpractices no matter what the circumstance. This is can be construed as a reward for the election that is said to have been stolen for the incumbent.
    Forget about Kalonga he can not do anything right because he does not have an inch of decency in him – he was the mastermind of rigging.

    However this individualism (may the Lord punish these thieves) is killing this nation big time. Malawians let us stop this and lift our country to a higher level for the big majority to enjoy a better living. a Mbendera ndi anzao in position please tapapata behave above the bar – the country entrusted you with the position for a purpose.
    I also beg Peter Munthalika to also find it in himself to forgive the majority of brothers and sisters living below poverty line if they wronged him. Just show an inch of leadership and decency to steer this country towards good governance
    Mukamaba chonchi this country will get into bigger trouble and things may go out of hand. please look at the macro economic indicators and do not listen to people that say those that are agitating for good governance are doing so because of kaduka. a country can not survive with this type of theft – it will succumb and get down to its knees one time.
    let reason prevail – we are stealing from ourselves.
    Bwana sober up and listen to reason.

  7. Justice M Mbendera, SC says:

    I am the accused in this article. My name is Justice Maxon Mbendera, SC. I wish to tell you that I am not guilty of whatever I am accused of. For your information, I did not buy TO 2966. The auditor knows this. Mr Garvey Karvei , who leaked this story knows this or ought to know this. The Secretary to the Treasury, Dr Mangani knows this or ought to know this. He has the necessary tools to know if he wanted. There is no sale. There is no purchase. Let them show you the receipt issued by MEC/Government evidencing payment I made to them. Let them tell you when I bought this vehicle. The vehicle is with MEC. Let them show you any evidence of change of ownership. Meanwhile, I reserve my rights to seek recompense. From the comments of most of you that are posted here, I see that you read Nyasatimes as though you are reading the Bible. Let me give you free advice. Have a healthy dose of skepticism when you read any news.

    1. peter says:

      Thanks for your clarification and your advise on how we should treat any news. However, I would also advise you not to take everything that MEC secretariat tells you as gospel true. You must find a clever and yet reliable means of ascertaining what Kalonga and his colleagues tell you. Most of us believe Kalong and friends were responsible for rigging. Now, with the obvious failure of this questionable government to perform as expected, people are really getting angry. On your part, facilitate electoral reforms NOW and clean up the mess at MEC or else we are calling for chaos in the very near future; on our part as citizens, we are closely following what is happening, and should need be, we will take morally acceptable actions to save the next generation from the deep pit this shamelessly greedy generation is pushing our beloved country into.

    2. Incorruptible mind says:

      If it is true the commentator here is Mbendera, you have got to understand that you hold two public offices, both of which require that you be held accountable. Your greed compels you to see everthing as an opportunity to make money. You cannot intimidate reporters who are doing the country a service by asking you and your organisation to answer some questions. You must be the first to welcome the audit and provide support to the auditors. You can of course defend yourself where necessary, but do not come here to silence citizens. If you do not want to account, resign, which is long overdue. No one will miss you, you’ve done enough damage already.

  8. Billy says:

    IF ISTOP THESE DISPLES NOT TO SING THISE STONES WILL SING FOR ME THAT WAS JESUS HEY THIS MAN WAS VERY POWER FULL THESE PEOPLE AT MEC DID NOT HEAR MALAWIAN CRY NOW HOLY SPRIT IS CRYING FOR US FOR 2014 ELECTIONS GOD HELP THE MALAWIANS.

  9. peeping lizard says:

    aliyense kumalawi ndi mbava most andale,ambendera kwasala ndikufa am warning you tatopa nawe

  10. Hamu says:

    Mkulu oyang’anira chisankho analira!!!!!

  11. Dobadoba says:

    Aweruze azake ndi ndani poti nanuso mwayamba kuba chuma cha Amalawi?

  12. Mlakho says:

    Mbendera anabera mavoti naga ndalama angasiye?

  13. Mlauzi says:

    Even @ ministry of Local Govt, there are 3 guys who are planning to share Government cars Isuzu and Peugeot parked @ Tulipoka in Roberts. U check their bank statements 4 the past 3 months they have been getting allowances for a whole month, their names always appear on each and every activity. The DA, DDA and AO. The DDA has even allocated a Toyota Hilux to himself to show his powers, while some full directors are not even able to have 1. Love your country guys

  14. belekiya says:

    I am robber wa mfuti

  15. Truck says:

    WHY MOST MALAWIANS BOSSES ARE NOT SATISFIED WITH THEIR PAY BUT THET EARN ENOUGH SALARY BUT BUSY WITH CASHGATE OF MONEY OF GOVERNMENT THATS BAD EH!

  16. Mzungumbuli says:

    Maxon Mbendela, mwazi wa amalawi odandaula uli pa mutu pako. Tsoka kwa ana anu, zizukulu zanu ndi onse apabanja panu. Mudamwela zikho za mkachisi pakuba mavoti ndi kupareka chiweluzo chabodza.

  17. Hangman Mtambo says:

    Iwe Michael Mtambo and DPP Kachale (tumbuka league of persecutors) now can you see all this corruption in Malawian systems, yet mungompanikiza Kasambara yekha, to the point of triggering his near fatal medical condition – as if he is is the only bad in Malawi.

    God will punish you one day. If it is not you then it will be your children’s children!

  18. Khamani !! says:

    Is there any real industry in Malawi ? Kapena Aliyense ndi katakwe ?

  19. John Chippy says:

    Analira nthawi yomwe akagulitsa dzikoli pansi akudziwa kuti ndaba zochuluka. Mangani chilombo ngakhale alire osamumvera chisoni.

  20. Nose Diving says:

    Ralph Kamotos transfer now makes sense. This guy was uncomfortable with him. He knew he was going to be exposed hence he had to consult Mwapiha to do something. Mwapiha is on the chair because of him. So mwapiha had to act quick and fast. But……..The mess will still be uncovered.

  21. drzeus says:

    Why did MEC stop selling their vehicles on tender in fact all Statutory Corporations stopped selling vehicles on tender including Thr RBM. They just give each other at give away prices!

  22. D. Makwete says:

    Palibe nkhani apa . What does the MEC policy on vehicles say ? It’s not only in MEC where staff buy vehicles allocated to them. The auditors had interest in the vehicles. Amalawi nsanje!!! Mufa nayo!! Beans Mbendera njoyani galimoto yanuyo. Izi ndi za njeeeeeee!!!!!

  23. mathanyula in newyork says:

    Don’t dare chaining Mbendera as his contract will see him through 2030.He has not done anything wrong here. Poor communications between auditors and his auditee/clientele. Auditee has responded to the query in the audit report.

  24. Peter27 says:

    This is the perfect opportunity for the opposition to push for a total overhaul of MEC. We don’t need Mbendera presiding over the 2019 elections anyway so this is the time to crucify him…… Oh and make sure he pays back every single cent stolen!!

  25. Tchutchu says:

    Lets face facts. There is no one, I mean NO ONE at Capital Hill who is clean. All are thieves. If all high ranking people are in the fore front defrauding the government how can they instill discipline in the juniors or the government companies they are entrusted to supervise?
    Civil servants are daily drawing out night allowances, or subsistence allowances for ghost field trips. I f it pains you just join the civil service and see if you want be baptized in the name Cashgate, night allowances and Fuel gate.
    Even the ones who are in Finance Committee themselves are not pure. Just check the mileage s their vehicles have clocked against the qty of fuel used. You will be shocked to find that their vehicles are consuming 3 to 4 litres per Km. Thats Fuel gate. Malawi has every organ rotten right from executive head.
    Simunati muva mbebe.

  26. Kanfinimbi says:

    This is not news worthy to me. The problem is rampant in all ministries and parastatals.
    All PS who have had their contracts expired have done the same. Most former PS and CEOs of Govt owned parastatals have bought and are buying VX prados, Double Cabins: D4Ds, FORD Everest,Rangers, Isuzu 300KBs/Big horns, Nisan Navaras etc, at below the cost of 2001 Vits in Japan(UD1500.00) and yet the vehicles they buy are less than Five years old.

    Surprisingly they buy such vehicles after thry have under gone full service and fitting new tyres whose values are much higher than the prices they pay to Govt. or parastatals.
    Don’t fault Mbendera and Karonga. Fault their conditions in their job contracts. Where on earth does a buyer fix a price for the item he/she wants to buy? In Malawi, I can challenge, I do not think there is a trustworthy valuer. Be it a RTD or any other car dealer extending to Estate Agents, they will always ask the person who wants a valuation report either for cars or real property how much one wants it to be. They will just do that.
    If you don’t believe what I am telling you just survey for yourself in all Ministries at Capital Hill and parastatals like ESCOM, NFRA, the sold MSB, BWB, LWB,City Assemblies Etc. This a virus that was hatched at Capital hill and soread to all govt. funded orgs.

  27. benjnes says:

    my message is still the same all working class should put hands together and we should teach this government a lesson. we all should not go to work for one week this will effect MRA directly as no PAYE will be remmtted. you will see how government will dance

  28. Kwangwagwa says:

    The what else are you waiting for? Chain Mbendera for Cashgate, please.

  29. ndadabwa says:

    Mapapaya ndiwe chitsiru

  30. ndadabwa says:

    maxion mbendera, nkhalamba yakuba. inabera ma results kumuwinitsa peter. maxon Mulungu akulanga. a Malawi akuzunzika chifukwa cha iwe

  31. Obanda says:

    Lilani bwana Mbendela kuti akuveleni chisoni.

  32. Lato says:

    All these fraud at the MEC, will lead to the illegal election and they know that DPP will shave all this under the table and let them go as sacred cows.

  33. KUNO KU MAULA says:

    MBENDERA UNAPEREKA DZIKO KWA
    PETER

    Kuti akuteteze milandu imeneyi

    Kenako unalira
    Koma uzingobwera kuno ku maula
    Takusungira malo pakona

  34. Benson T Phiri says:

    kugwira pasaya ngati zenizeni mbava number 2 kwa Lutepo akumange akakuone ku maula, chichiri kapena zomba central.munthu WOIPAAAAAAA

  35. YAYA says:

    Chi Maxon Mbendera ndi chimfiti. Ndalama anakupatsa a DIPHIPHI zoti ubere zisankho sukukhutitsidwa? May God smite you to death. Ufe imfa yowawa before next January next year. You and your master mathanyula pitala should die!!! Die a slow painful death

  36. Benson T Phiri says:

    amangidwe basi anthu OIPA awa adationongera chisankho agalu awa.

  37. Bikiloni Nachipanti says:

    Bwinoyu paja bambo mbendera sachedwa kulira…

  38. mapapaya says:

    Palibe nkhani apa. Makampani samagulitsa galimoto kwa antchito awo? Paja simumalemba zabwino za MEC.

  39. God can’t leave you free people are surfering because of your mess

  40. Mawu says:

    We will wait and see. Ted Nandolo is on suspension for simply effecting salary rise. What about this day light robbery? Fire Mbendera and Willie Kalonga immediately!!!!

  41. peter says:

    I have always suspected that Willie cannot be trusted. His conduct has shown as somebody who is more of a crook than a public servant.
    A Mbendera, zamanyazi zenizeni!!

  42. becks says:

    Mbendera tsopano. How then can malawians entrust THE MEC TO THIS THIEF

  43. REX MSISKA says:

    If this is true, then it is heart breaking to imagine that the whole Chief Justice can do this. Who do we then as Malawians entrust with the responsibility of the custody of our laws! No wonder the man has caused a lot of grief to Malawians for Election fraud. He should not only pay back, but be arrested to give an example that no one is above the law. Him especially in as Chief Justice.

    When Kamuzu arrested the likes of Bakali Muluzi, people labeled him dictator and cruel. Really what do you do with the likes of Mbendera! The man is still head of MEC, what a joke. Boma la kubaza. No offence to the leadership, but really how do you expect respect from donor countries if these are the things we turn our blind eye and pretend all is well.

    Mbendera what do you tell your children about the law and justice? Come on, give yourself up to police, thats the only respect you have now.

    I love you though brother.

  44. chatonda says:

    Thank you very much Nysatimes for the investigative reporting. This is what Malawians need. Let theives be exposed. There is no any excuse that MEC can make to make any sense into our ears. How can you repair the car more than the selling Price on earth? The maintence was meant tpo make the car into its condition then take it for free. How can one buy a Toyota Land cruiser at K1,500,00 AND ANOTHER ONE AT K #%)<))) nJINGA OR WHAT?
    Malawi is like a leaking bucket where you add water but the water flows out through the base. Arrest them please, we need to recover the stolen money from these mbava at MEC. kALONGA IS WORSE AND HIS BROTHER lEONARD kALONGA STOLE BILLIONS AT mIN OF tOURISM, WHAT IS WRONG WITH THESE KALONGAS ? ACB please help us so that donors can start giving aid otherwise no donor will donate his money only to end up into the pockets of the few people at MEC. Arrest them now than later.

    1. Charlie Hebdo says:

      What is the difference with one who got, is it city or MHC house for a song. The house was gravely undervalued and so are the MEC vehicles. The difference is that one is the current president and the other, the one who put the former there. Birds of a feather indeed.

  45. Chindindindi says:

    Mbendera man of all the times

  46. TO mbendera, MJ kalonga says:

    killing the TONGA & innocent Ralph Kasambala will never be a solution. akuba everywhere in Malawi. naye JB samawona kuti anthuwa ndi aDPP.

  47. wavisanga says:

    mbendera should rot in jail, anatibela mavoti ameneyu, mwamuona mulungo mmene amachitira, mulungu si DPP iyayi

  48. Dr Kaunde says:

    Muchoka muwona. A Mbendera ndi anzanu a Kalonga mb.mooooooloooooooo zanu. Kuba kumeneko. NyiiiiNi zamanu. Machende anu

  49. Ramsey Majiga says:

    Lamulo ligwira ntchito

  50. Ambele says:

    Our MEC God please do not let their sins including election results pass in this life
    Let them face what they did.

  51. Chaponda says:

    Amenewo a Mbendera munthu wakuba adagulitsa dziko komaso kuba katundu wa MEC.Mlandu wake ndi theft by public servant amangidwe basi panopa apatsidwe holiday to pave way for investigation .Justice should prevail no mercy about that .

  52. Here we go again says:

    Kutibera ndalama komaso mavoti umaona ngati mulungu ndi munthu, zeru yapadziko mulungu anaipusitsa kale so says my bible, this is your time leap what you sow Mr Mbendera

  53. mwambo says:

    Number plates TO and MJ Number plates aa?

  54. Sports Fan says:

    Paliponse kuba koma amalawi eish

  55. CHALO NTCHITEREZI says:

    Amangeniso Judge ndi munthu wopanda chilungamo

  56. Sir Bentby says:

    everywhere corruption, this government is totally a laughing stock. i hate mbendera because youth, and I hate muthalika because am human.

  57. Leonard Kalonga and now Willie Kalonga. Chancellor College graduates. Very corrupt.

  58. Nyasi musi says:

    Tiyeni nazo

Comments are closed.