In a move to build its case, the Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC has made its responses together with supporting documents to the public on the investigative audit report by the Ministry of Finance.
Since the audit report started hitting media headlines, MEC had touted its innocence arguing that the audit was incomplete as its responses were not considered.
The MEC chairman, Justice Maxon Mbendera has also come out in the open to say that it was difficult for the Commission to take action on the audit recommendations as there was evidence exonerating the officials of wrong doing.
On the other hand the Secretary to the Treasury, Dr Ronald Mangani has maintained that the audit report was final and even hinted that his office would be forced to share with other agencies like the Anti-Corruption Bureau in the face of defiance from the Commission.
However, the Commission has come out in the open and released to the public all the evidence it has presented to the auditors for the public to be better judges.
The Commission has uploaded its management responses and scanned supporting documents on its website.
The documents that have been made available include scanned pages of passports of its Commissioners and staff as one way to prove that they travelled for the allowances which they received. The audit report had accused MEC commissioners and staff of pocketing allowances and not undertaking the trips.
MEC has also uploaded minutes of the Commission and its committees, correspondence with the Office of the Director of Public Procurement, vehicle valuation reports, job offer letters, and interview reports.
In a cover letter accompanying this latest submission to the Secretary to the Treasury, MEC is requesting for a meeting to discuss the responses so that the auditors can issue a new report.
MEC spokesman, Sangwani Mwafulirwa who has been in the forefront defending his organisation said the documents were hand delivered to the Secretary to the Treasury and other agencies who were copied in the draft report.
Mwafulirwa said the Commission was waiting for the Ministry of Finance auditors to meet with MEC management at a date to be set.
“We are optimistic that the evidence we have submitted clarify well on the queries raised by the auditors. If the meeting will take place, most of the issues that have been touted as sins committed by MEC will fall.
“We are equally waiting to be exonerated by the final audit report but we could not hold on to the responses because stakeholders were pushing us to come out and clarify on the issues that were being reported about the leaked draft report,” he said.
Secretary to the Treasury and his spokesman could not be reached for comment yesterday.
However, in past interviews with The Nation newspaper, Mangani had maintained that the audit report which MEC was disputing was final and that no other report would be produced.
The audit responses by MEC can be accessed at www.mec.org.mwFollow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :