Malawi Parliament rejects Kulugomba’s appointment as Auditor General

Malawi Parliament on Friday rejected the appointment of Anderson George Kuligomba as Auditor General following the retirement of the previous office holder Reckford Kampanje in August, claiming he had “several shortfalls”.

Kuligomba,  was appointed by President Mrs. Joyce Banda to replace Kampanje at the National Audit Office (NAO) —an organ mandated to check abuse of public resources, but most of the MPs who contributed to the debate on the appointment saying that the man is not qualified enough for the job.

The rejection came just soon before the House adjourned its three-week meeting.

After heated debate the confirmation ended with a secret vote which saw 64 MPs voting for the confirmation and 87 MPs rejecting it with four null and void votes registered while four MPs abstained.

Kulugomba: Rejected

“The interpretation of the results is that the National Assembly has rejected the confirmation of the Auditor General,” said Speaker of the Malawi National Assembly Henry Chimunthu Banda soon after the voting.

Ntcheu Bwanje North MP Steven Kamwendo, during the debate, said Kulugomba had extensive experience in banking and not auditing. He said he worked as auditor at some organisation for only a year and has never again practiced as an auditor.

The Auditor General Act requires that the head of the institution be someone with almost eight years of practice as an auditor.

Balaka South MP George Nnesa supported Kulugomba but said the position was supposed to be advertised instead of leaving it to the president to appoint.

DPP leader in the House, George Chaponda told Nyasa Times in an interview: “The government will have to look for a better person than Kuligomba.”

Chaponda said his party will take to task government to explain why Kampanje was “forced” to retire.

Deputy Auditor General Rexie Chiludzi

Government spokesman Moses Kunkuyu said DPP fought Kuligomba’s appointment “merely on political grounds just to score cheap political gains.”

Born in 1957, Kulugomba, currently managing director of Nedbank (Malawi) Limited, holds a Master of Business Administration from the University of Derby in the United Kingdom. He is also a Fellow of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants as well as a Certified Public Accountant-Malawi.

The supreme audit institution has been smeared with allegations of donor funds mismanagement.

Kampanje’s early retirement came at a time when NAO was locked in controversy after audit exposed alleged abuses of funds resulting in the Norwegian Government withholding of support while the Department for International Development (DfID) warned that there will be no funding until the audit queries are resolved

Recently government appointed of Rexie Chiluzi, who was assistant Auditor General, as the Deputy Auditor General (DAG) with effect from September 27 2012.

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