Malawi ‘can’t afford another ‘cashgate’-Mutharika

Malawi top government officials

Malawi top government officials

Mutharika speaking at Kamuzu Palace

Mutharika speaking at Kamuzu Palace

President Peter Mutharika has said Malawi “cannot afford another cashgate” adding the ability of the southern African nation to accelerate economic growth and uplift the lives of the majority of its citizens rests in frugal management of public finances and the physical assets of government.

Mutharika said this in Malawi’ capital Lilongwe when he launched the ‘Public Finance Management Reform Programme’ Friday.

He said unlike in the past, when Malawi’s civil servants were the envy of most countries for their dedication, efficiency, discipline and integrity, the same has dangerously flopped and situation is presently deplorable.

“It is sad that most people now take pride in the acquisition of personal material gains from their official positions, and no longer take the protection of public resources as an accomplishment of their duty towards society,” he said.

According to him, the tendency was responsible for ‘cashgate,’ Malawi’s mega fraud syndicate in history in which over US$ 100 million of government coffers is reportedly said to have mysteriously lost through unscrupulous means by public officers.

He said it “is mandatory that we should reform the public service and the finance management system.”

The internationally revered law scholar said as a country “we still have an excellent framework of financial laws, rules and regulations that follow well established international standards of public finance management.”

“Regrettably,” he said, “these laws, rules and regulations have been ignored progressively with impunity by politicians and the public servants, particularly those who are entrusted with managing resources.

“The result has been a persistent erosion of accountability of funds, and a lack of control of expenditures.  More and more resources are lost through financial malfeasances and fraud, and budgets are never taken seriously.”

Mutharika announced that both senior and junior officers will have to undergo special training in managing financial technologies government is using including IFMIS at such government training institutes as Mpemba and Malawi Institute of Management (MIM).

He also said that government, through the public finance reform management programme, will have to redesign IFMIS so that “it can be comprehensive and can use a software that is customized to the Malawi conditions.”

According to Mutharika, the programme will make sure its objectives are achieved by rehabilitating the Public Finance Management System to ensure that is conducive to expenditure control, financial accountability and transparency and be able to generate financial reports that reflect actual management of financial resources.

Also, he said, the Central Internal Auditing service is being reformed and revitalized as a compliance tool of the government.

“We will introduce qualified internal auditors from the private firms in 10 large ministries to train official internal auditors and establish proper internal auditing practice.  To avoid the likely personnel familiarization between the accounting staff and internal auditors, the latter will rotate every six months,” he said.

Malawi, whose 40 per cent of budgetary support is donor given, had its image badly tainted by fiscal infractions in 2013 for cashgate.

Most donors withdrew their budgetary support, forcing the country to resort to heavy taxation policies that impacted negatively on the citizenry.

Mutharika has emphasized on public service discipline to curb the same from re-happening. On Feb 11, 2015, he launched the Public Service Reform programme whose aim is to nurture public officers in making sure that there is an improvement in the delivery of services to the public.

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matako
Guest

Easier said than done. If you are aware Mr president charity begins at home. Your failure to sanction a forensic audit which the German government has offered to fund is a bad example of what you are preaching and yet not ready to practice. The swindled MK92 billion will haunt your government for the rest of your tenure. Donors know what you are all about. Just as you attempted to hood-wink Malawians with your phoney declared assets. Fish rot from the head. You can not preach the contrary if you yare not leading by example.

Kenkkk
Guest

Yes we can’t afford news or another cashgates, totally agree Mr president. But we want action, not just words and rhetorics. So far the govt hasn’t started very well as far as corruption is concerned but we are giving you time of say two years to sort this out in all govt sectors.

The return of all or most of the cashgate moneys from JB and Bingu era to me is the benchmark to measure your govt’s success or failure.

Fersonian
Guest

Even if I was the President I could have stolen more than what Bingu did BOMA LAKE LA MALAWILI LOKOGONA SHITI.

Greencardless Malawian
Guest
Greencardless Malawian

Shut uuuup!

Cosmas Arkidigxedi
Guest

We already afforded another cash gate after Bungu regune stole K92 Billion. The one that happened under JB was simply a repetition of Bingu’s example.

Nam'bwibwi
Guest

Akulu any ankati zero tolerance to corruption komano iwowo,a DPP ndi alomwe nkumaba kungowapana anthu a mitundu Ina.

The Truthful One from the West
Guest
The Truthful One from the West

Comment: What about the K92billion misused under Bingu? What is the progress? DPP brought the disease of financial mismanagement.

John
Guest
I was reading the article with a confused look on my face not understanding the logical thinking of both the writer and APM. Then I got to where it says …” The internationally revered law scholar said …..”. Thats when I got a sigh of relief after I realised that it’s just a joke. I thought the writer was serious about what he wrote. Phew! Good April’s fool joke though, I can give him that!! APM was teaching colleges that you will always forget their names two minutes after googling about them. As for the internationally acclaimed tag, I dont… Read more »
Jelbin mk
Guest
Why didn’t the financial management reform get rolling together with the public service reform??????? Are financial managers not civil servants??????? If yes then how many reforms are we going to have???????? And how much are we going to loose in the process?????? Are these people not just trying to accumulate wealth through these many and meaningless reforms???? And Muntharika should be the last person to comment about cash gate because his very own party is the architect of cash gate and that him is the most untrusted person in Malawi. He is a hypocrite of the highest order he lied… Read more »
Kinyentu
Guest

Mbwiye munayamba kupanga benefit from your official position kuyambila 2004

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