Malawi Electoral Commission comes back fighting, releases audit responses

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.

Mbendera ( 2nd from left) flanked by MEC Commissioners

Mbendera ( 2nd from left) flanked by MEC Commissioners

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.mw

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25 thoughts on “Malawi Electoral Commission comes back fighting, releases audit responses”

  1. kajedza says:

    Start with procurement department. Was there a tender for printing and supply of registration materials. Willie’s best friend Vick from Universal Printers in Durban always gets the orders. Even ballot papers order was given on a silver platter.

    Even last elections USAID officials were involved.with their Australian consultant who gave the order for solar fitted printers and cameras to his brother in law from Australia who had no experience

    Last elections tender for registration materials were done electronically, while Vick rom UP was sitting with a lap top at Skyband office and the Australian guy was online in MEC office correcting the prices and submitted on his behalf

  2. mwachaje says:

    Tamawerengani chonde mmalo momangotukwana anthu opanda chifukwa.
    Anthuwa a kuti amadikila kuti ma auditors a bambo Mangani aboma achite incorporate ma response awo. koma popeza ma auditors alowa Ndale ndipo akuchedwa,ma STAKEHOLDERS (zipani,donors etc) awapempha kuti ndi bwino achite publicise ma responses awo. Cholinga ndi choti amene amadzitsata zinthuzi (including madonors,azipani,CSOs,amipingo,etc) awelenge okha. Ife amene sitimadzitsata tiyeni tizingowelenga zimene akulemba anzathu amene amamvetsa za accounting ndi auditing. This is a technical area.

  3. Phodogoma says:

    Ladies and gentlemen be aware that accounting and auditing are two systems which talk to each other. Auditor require assistance from internal sources like the source documents whic are under custodianship of the MEC Accounting personnel. There is no way auditors could conclude their auditing without hearing something from the audited firm personnel. Impossible. I am a newly qualified ICAM student in Accounting Technician. It is necessary that the auditing reports must be reconcialled with accounting records of the audited firm.This is done to avoid all misunderstandings between the two parties. The results of auditing report are not for public consumption without consent from the audited firm, whether the reports show the irregularities or not. The audited firm must be inform officially and responded to queries in the report before the report becomes a legal documents. At times the report may not outline the results on the ground due to a number of reasons like different accounting standards of audited firm and that used by the auditing firm, loss of accounting records which can be clarified by the audited firm, ineffectiveness and incapacity of the auditing firm,technical expertise of the auditing pannel, poor communications between audited firm and auditing firm, lack of using the experts in the auditing exercise.Above all the auditing firm can not claim to produce an absolute assurance in auditing, that is the reason why every auditing firm gives only Fair and True Views of the accounting system not the absolute correct audit report.This has been the case since the auditing was founded in 15 BC. Therefore the results of auditing report are debatable between the auditing firm and audited firm. Without which this auditing firm is beckoning a legal action. I know MEC has capable Lawyers who can take injunction against the use of the report until two or three things are clarified in courts. Remember the same ICAM course taught me in business law that he who come with equity must come with clean hands, if the hands of the auditing firm are clean why running away from reconciliation between audit report and accounting records. After all the auditing firm can not claim to have access to all accounting documents on their own. Impossible. Shameful auditing firm. If this could be the case in auditing then accountants could be arrested without any reason. My recommendation is that auditing firm must accept reconciliation of the responses from big man Mbendera against their findings in the audit report. This is what really happens. If you are the newbies in the auditing firm then ask the big four for assistance these big four are Ernst & Young, Dettoire & Touche, KPMG, and PwC with headquarter form UK according to ICAM.After all equity follows law. Follow the law of auditing.No personal approach at all. Are you mercenaries of Chakwera, Kanthiti and Jessie?

    1. peter says:

      You have given us some important points mixed with some degree of bias! Learn to tell people as it is without adding things that reveal the master feeding your arguments! Irrespective of this, what is happening in Malawi is a sign of failed governance issues and MEC is one of the players that have failed Malawians big time (others are our political establishments, our legal system etc).

  4. Tony says:

    What have you been waiting waiting for all this time to publish your documents? Of course, you were cooking your documents just like you cooked your APM results!!
    So you know how easy it is to have your passports stamped by immigration officers while you are just sitted at home? And don’t tell me about the bloody made up minutes. What you need to refute is the fraudulent money transactions and bank accounts you opened, the cars you sold to yourselves at give away prices at servicing them with our money….!

  5. Nabanda says:

    Inu Chisankho ndi audit zikugwirizana pati. Munaluza , munaluza basi bwanji anthu anu munadazdzitsa mu commission aja a chimkwita, ndi anzawo sanakubereni chisankhacho. Kodi inu simunali olamulira. Ma commissioner anu munawagulawo anali kuti mmene ankakuberani, Zopusa.

    Mukuyesa kuti anthu sakudziwa zimene anthu anu ankapanga ku Tally centre eti, Angokupatsani ulemu malo moti akuululeni mudzikayankhanso milandu ya zisannkho.
    Khalani chete yambani kukonzekera za 2019 chifukwa mudzasowa omunamizira .

    Kodi munkati muwina bwanji mulibe masapota kumwera.
    Kuli ngati kulemba mayeso osawerenga, kuyembekezera kuti poti mumapempehera ndiye mulungu akuyankhani.

  6. mapwevupwevu says:

    Backdated fabricated documents! MEC is a gang of thieves and fraudsters!

  7. matombodya says:

    Iam baffled with the conduct of MOF auditors. They really seem to have an axe to grind with MEC. You do auditing with relative ignorance and why should you say no to management responses. Dr Mangani be professional

  8. Kwaheli says:

    Willie Kalonga, you were naive not to palm oil the government auditors. We all know that the team that did the audit of kaliati and wochi Chataika is very corrupt . All they wanted from you were bribes and handouts. They would have dropped all the nonsense they wrote. Learn to play the civil service game. They had to justify the over 100 days they spent at MEC BY by writing bad stories about you. Even Ron Mangani knows that this was just a gimmick to make money for his wallet .
    Open your eyes Willie, learn from your peers in government. THIS IS MALAWI!!!!

  9. mavis njoka says:

    Thank you for publishing this story. It shows that when you put your mind to it, you can be neutral and objective. I expect you to upload MEC’s responses here on Nyasatimes as you did the CIAO audit. This will complete your investigative reporting.

    I have gone through MEC’s responses and some of their documents and observe the following;
    1. Karvei’s “investigative” report that Mbendera bought a vehicle is not true; according to the evidence he was offered but declined the offer.
    2. Karvei and your subsequent reports accused Kalonga of having a secret account; MEC has shown a letter from the former ST Kumwembe approving the opening of the CEO’s account apparently to expedite election-related transactions
    3. Contrary to your investigative report’s finding that commissioners and staff pocketed money without travelling,there are passport pages showing that commissioners and MEC staff travelled.
    I would love to hear your views and the views of your “investigative” reporter Karvei on MEC’s responses above.

  10. choka phiri says:

    This mbendera is he going to be Therese 2019. Its only a bullet can stopp with his crocodile
    Tears again. He spoiled Malawi. First was Muluzu Then this stupid green as. No more crocodile tears. Love your nation font sell it for money.

  11. chatonda says:

    Nkhope zonse zikuonekeratu pa picture kuti they are theives. Do not fool us.

  12. Mbuya says:

    Audit report, final or draft which had quaries ?

  13. Pitala Paulendo says:

    Everyone knows that we have got a non-performing President and we’ll get away with any crime we commit. There’s no leadership in our land. Mbendera knows that he dubiously put Mutharika on the throne so he won’t be touched.
    Cry mother Malawi.

  14. utitiri says:

    Big up for Peter comment number 2

  15. Felix says:

    Palibe chanzelu pamenepo akuba lnu!!!

  16. shad says:

    MEC reminds me election saga

  17. Kennzo says:

    When i see the evil face of mbendera its like when Jesus looked in the eyes of judasiikaliyoti in my venecular.

    This man crusfied innocent malawians, may God judge him.

  18. Mbendera is waiting for a punishment from God for allowing rotten elections go ahead and ate the money from Peter and made him president a fake President of Malawi shame on you Maxon Mbendera

  19. mogasa chairman says:

    inu pitilizani kuba, azungu nawo apitiliza kutimana makobili. let’s wait and see if you few will defeat us many.

  20. onlooker says:

    Why ministry of finance is still forcing MEC to consider its investigative audit report as correct? Mind you you cant produce a correct audit report in an office that is not for you.Absolute assurance in auditing report has never existed at all but you are claiming to have an assurance auditing.Remember even the big four auditing firms including Young and Enerst,KPMG,etc do not produce an absolut assurance audit report. So let MEC clarify its positions. You argue according what they present but not refusing what they are presenting.

  21. zon says:

    Who is fooling who? Of course we know that government auditors can fabricate negative reports when they are not palm oiled and this can be one of such cases. They want that when they audit the books they should be given money and if that is not done they quickly produce a negative report without considering responses given

  22. Pete Nyandoro says:

    Please journalists try to write grammatical English. You don’t request for anything , you simply request something. Similarly, you don’t seek for anything, but you seek assistance or anything else. But rather you ask for (something). Ku Daily Times kumachuluka chizungu chotenechi kwambiri kwache. Nation Editors are a little more careful about the Queen’s language.

  23. peter says:

    This is coming from an institution that operates in chaos. It gave us chaotic elections and wants us to believe that they can handle money properly! If they can tamper with election results and materials, what will prevent them from tapering with public finances, let alone produce documents that are not credible? How do you provide documents carrying current dates to support activities that were done in the past and then nobody at the commission saw that as a shameful act of illegality?

  24. Jalison Banda says:

    Has Lucky Mkandawire of the Nation seen the report? He is the one who was busy castigating Justice Mbendera and Willie Kalonga

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