Malawi Police, ACB await govt for action on ‘agriculture-cashgate’

Malawi Police and graft busting body, the Anti Corruption Bureau (ACB)  say they are awaiting government instructions to act on the infamous Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development cashgate.

Chimala: The fraud masterminded from Ministry Headquarters, Kasinthula and Chitedze research stations

Chimala: The fraud was  masterminded from Ministry Headquarters, Kasinthula and Chitedze research stations

Police headquarters spokesman Nicholas Gondwa said the law enforcers cannot affect arrest on the 74 officials without a formal complaint.

“The office of the auditor general or relevant government department should lodge a formal complaint if we are to prosecute the suspects. We cannot move on our own,” said Gondwa.

He however said the police are following the developments on the issue with keen interest.

ACB deputy director Reyneck Matemba said the bureau is discussing on whether to pounce on the case or not.

“We don’t have to receive a formal complaint from anyone for us to prosecute the case. The media reports are enough for us to prosecute the suspects but we have to wait and see if the case is within our mandate for prosecution.

“We have also to wait and see if no other state prosecuting agency is taking up the case. Very soon we will come up with our clear stance on the matter,” said Matemba.

The 74 ministry of Agriculture employees and 36 others from other government departments and ministries are accused of drawing double salaries and in some cases triple salaries and allowances from the ministry.

Theft includes accountants, economists, IT experts and other technical personnel from the ministry.

Spokesperson from Ministry of Agriculture, Hamilton Chimala confirmed to Nyasa Times in emailed statement that the ministry has interdicted 74 agriculture technical officers for suspected embezzlement of funds and fraud following an audit by the Ministry’s Central Internal Audit unit.

“The officers are interdicted without pay and are not allowed to travel outside Malawi without due authorisation of the Ministry in accordance with the Malawi Public Service Regulations,” said Chimala.

“The Ministry has also recommended for interdiction to specific controlling officers from its mainstream a total of 31 support staff officers in the Human Resource, Financial and IT services on similar suspicion.

“These practises were masterminded from Ministry Headquarters, Kasinthula and Chitedze research stations as well as Shire Valley Agricultural Development Division,” Chimala said.

He said the Ministry of Agriculture will continue its “zero tolerance” on cashgate activities and seek to eliminate “all forms of financial mismanagement and fraud in its quest to help government turn Malawi into an investment driven economy.”

On how much has been embezzled, Chimala said the figure is in “millions of Kwacha” and not billions, saying finer details will be disclosed  following conclusion of other administrative technicalities.

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mapuya
Guest
mapuya
5 months 20 days ago

Even the top officials are practing the the same image the donor funded project subsistence allowance is 20,000 in all ministries But PS for agriculture refuses to and gives herself 35,000 and and deduct from the junior staff to up to 10,000 what is this ? Corruption.is high in the Ministry.

SIR JOHN CHAULA
Guest
SIR JOHN CHAULA
5 months 20 days ago

I understand this doesnt include money or materials meant for kahelele dam diverted leaving a schoolboy facility that refused to hold the much needed resource,water,came first rains this season a month after completion. This has left citizens of euthini wondering as to why this happened while gvt provided for. Journalists and other stakeholders are welcome to euthini and launch the investigation

Frank Chipondeni
Guest
Frank Chipondeni
5 months 22 days ago
It is not a surprise that nobody knows what to do. A country without leadership? a country without leadership! a country without leadership! Dziko lopanda mtsogoleri! If we had a president, bwenzi zinthu zikuyenda. How can people stop stealing if other people caught stealing are treated with kid gloves? Inenso given a chance I will steal as much as possible. I will benefit if I steal billions of Kwachas and serve 10 years in prison, come out and enjoy my wealth. Kudalira salary pa Malawi, you will die poor because your salary that you receive will not even be half… Read more »
Mabvu Nkhomola
Guest
5 months 22 days ago

What I am trying to understand is why the police are waiting for the anti corruption agency when the report is made? So government has to say ” okay police find these people and do such and such with them”?
Police and anti corruption agency needs to grow balls and teeth and get to work for what they are funded for!! Government needs to stop meddling in justice system. Let the law take its course.
Mbuzi zamalamulo pa Malawi..
No wonder we cannot keep even a train running.

Mabvu 18B
Guest
Mabvu 18B
5 months 22 days ago

Tsano a Malawi ndife mbava zedi. Shaa.

gogodus
Guest
gogodus
5 months 22 days ago

choncho tingatukuke? Malawi will remain like this, everyone wants to feed his or her pocket and not developing the country. Why is it taking long to judge the 2013 cashgaters? so this is fresh news, zitenga how long? fotsek

Perv
Guest
Perv
5 months 23 days ago

kodi pa nkhani ya watsapp coup anakupatsani formal complaint ndindani inu a police?

Samuel Lwara
Guest
Samuel Lwara
5 months 23 days ago

Institutions that only jeopardise our national integrity are as follows:

1. State house and the president himself in particular.

2. Ant corruption bureau.

3. Malawi police.

4. National Intellegence bureau.

5. Office of the president and cabinet.

6. Director of public proscutions office.

Its worthless putting our resources to their ledger account, doing so only symbolizes inexistence of proper government mechanism policies that effect to graft and corruption by same institutions. You don’t act only upon formal submission or complaint from victims, but you have to probe or investigate independently and balance it up and act based on findings. Tulo basi ndi utsiru omwe.

Jailos J Chikanda
Guest
Jailos J Chikanda
5 months 23 days ago

Please take a action quickly

r
Guest
r
5 months 23 days ago

A Matemba mukuthamba kwambiri, Chonde chepetsani liwiri. This is Malawi, do not pretend as if you have never worked in the civil service.

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