Malawi to profile real estates, vehicles of civil servants in corruption crackdown

After being awakened by the Capital Hill plundering, the Malawi Government is working on profiling all real estates and motor vehicles owned by civil servants for easy tracking.

This is one of the measures government has put in place to ensure that it effectively checks on its employees from further free-for-all financial looting.

Currently, the Ministry of Justice has engaged the Ministry of Lands and Housing and the Road Traffic Directorate to ensure a successful implementation of the system.

“The Ministry of Justice is working with the Ministry of Lands and the Road Traffic Directorate to ensure that real estate and motor vehicles owned by civil servants as well as their relatives are profiled and tracked,” says the State House in a statement issued by Presidential Press Secretary Steve Nhlane.

Nhlane: Issued statement on behalf of State House to give a fact sheet o graft fight

Nhlane: Issued statement on behalf of State House to give a fact sheet o graft fight

The statement outlines some of the actions President Joyce Banda had taken prior to and after the exposé of the cash-gate scandal to fight fraud and corruption in the civil service.

According to the statement, the president also ordered the setting up of a five-member team of lawyers at the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (ODPP) with a mandate to prosecute with speed and, where necessary, support the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) with prosecutorial services.

Government has since fully financed the ODPP for these operations to register quick progress on the cases.

Also on President Banda’s instructions, government has developed an action matrix- covering investigations, prosecutions, auditing, accounting, and administrative and reforms -to ensure all areas requiring serious attention are attended to.

Further, the statement state: “The President has assembled a team of local and international experts in ICT [information communication technology], forensics and special investigations to comb through government business processes, identify loopholes, culprits and recover some of the stolen funds.

“The President has also established a Forensic Unit within the Anti-Corruption Bureau to enhance investigations. The unit will carry out forensic audit on payments undertaken in the past five years.”

The State House, however, insists the culture of stealing in government became entrenched and has accelerated in the past 12 years, a development even opposition leaders have admitted to the media.

 

“But it is only now that we have top level political will to end it. When fraudulent activities were exposed, President Banda immediately, vociferously and strongly moved to hunt perpetrators and punish them.

“After noting loopholes in IFMIS [Integrated Financial Management Information Systems], the president immediately suspended it, unlike the previous government, which left the system unchecked,” declares the State House.

Before the cash-gate scandal President Banda walked the tough talk against fraud and corruption that helped to blow the Capital Hill syndicates.

For instance, some two months before the issue was exposed, she summoned the fired Minister of Finance, Ken Lipenga and other senior government officials, and ordered an immediate action on the rumored pilferage at Capital Hill.

A task force was formed for this reason with the express purpose of finding lasting solutions to the IFMIS problems and to develop mechanisms for checking fraud.

The former minister of finance was given four weeks to carry out the task but the looting at Capital Hill was exposed two months later which was followed with president’s firing Lipenga from cabinet.

Meanwhile, the President has vowed not to shield anyone, not even her family members, should investigations into the fraudulent activities reveal their involvement.

Parliament will today, Monday, start meeting in Lilongwe, where among other issues, legislators will debate the cash-gate scandal (following a government statement on the same to be president by Vice President Khumbo Kachali) with a view to finding bipartisan solutions to the national problem.

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