MEC-cashgate: Director of finance ‘sacrificed’, on forced leave

The director of finance at Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC), Khumbo Phiri , has been sent on forced leave on suspected cashgate activities between July 2012 and December 2014 which Nyasa Times first reported following a special investigative audit .

Kalonga: Fingured in the audit

Kalonga: Fingured in the audit

The fraud allegations in the report before the Secretary to the Treasury and donor community, as conducted by the Central Internal Audit Unit under the Ministry of Finance following allegations of financial misconduct and fraud in the procurement and recruitment procedures by the institution’s top management.

MEC management is sacrificing Phiri in the damaging scandal , and they blaming the financial director of lacking leadership in the directorate of finance to discharge its functions accordingly and as required by law as well as international accounting standards.

“Following this unacceptable performance, the commission will constitute a disciplinary panel shortly to enable you to defend yourself against these charges,” read a letter seen by Nyasa Times, dated October 6 2015 titled Disciplinary Hearing signed by MEC deputy chief executive officer (CEO) Lellie Brian Longwe.

Phiri has expressed “suprise” with MEC for making him a sacrificial lamb when he has not been mentioned by the auditors in their report for wrong doing.

He said “ someone is really trying very hard to conceal the real findings of the auditors.”

Ministry of Finances said the audit was carried “because MEC’s large budget vis a vis the national budget posed a higher fiscal risk”.

On procurement, the auditors reported that they did not find evidence of a claim of payment for supply of goods by a Tanzanian company, SCI, amounting to K16.6 million; goods procured outside procurement plan and budget amounting to K40.6 million and procurement without Office of the Director of Public Procurement amounting to K526.6 million.

According to the executive summary of the audit report, MEC top management misused or failed to satisfactorily explain how about K1.5 billion ($2,727,272) was used on several activities.

Among the several queries include payments CEO Willie Kalonga paid to himself amounting to K2.2 million ($4000) for a personal trip to his private study graduation without the approval of the commission.

And that Kalonga operated a secret account at Malawi Savings Bank (MSB) which was used for suspected cashgate activities.

A special secret code named CEO Account at MSB opened in March 2014 number 1024883104001 was overdrawn by K8, 093,858.33 on 31/12/2014 in the bank while many transacts were not entered in the cashbook which was overdrawn by K33,819,387.69.

The abuse on the account cost the public K20, 634,732.20 in accumulated bank charges and interest which were also missing in the cashbook.

MEC chairperson Maxon Mbendera, who is also a judge of the Malawi Supreme Court of Appeal, was a recipient of the mysterious cash transfers which the management of the electoral body failed to produce documentation detailing purpose of payment.

Kalonga’s account received K37, 191,268.37 of the transfers between 14/07/2014 to 08/10/2014 with no proper accounting records and payments, the audit report reads.

“We have noted the observation and promise to make a thorough follow up to trace the documents to account for the transferred funds. We believe that weakness in recording and keeping of records might have caused the event,” MEC management defended their position when they responded to the audit query.

However, the audit report has recommended that the commission should be made answerable to Parliament on the use of the taxpayers money.

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MEc needs deliverance. Chi were were chanyanya. Onse matupi a top up basi. Official girlfriends at the office mpaka kumakanganilana zikavuta kukamuuza mkazi wake was munthu Ali amuna anu athesa chibwenzi ayamba ndi wakuti awapatsa matenda ameneujanso bola ine. Amene muli ndi mayina a zibwenzi ku MEC ponyani ndikuuzani kuti chibwenzi cake ndani


Mwadyerana QCM kapena? It seems there is a battle between the two. Ife ma QZCM tilungonelera mulatto mutiuza. QCM wake amakoma mqantundu wanji kuti snthu ayambsne chonchi?

Benson T Phiri

kodi ameneyi ndi mtumbuka chifukwa akanankhala Mlomwe sakanamuyimitsa .


Comment from mec official is surely kalongas wife, Mary just to cover her hubby. Who told you khumbo is in Mozambique to see asinganga? That means your husband is doing that, zathina. You know mwayaluka and people will not respect you anymore. You work yes, but stealing is a shame. No wonder he has girlfriends, apart. From you the wife and also several children outside marriage. I hope u have a calculator, ukusova.

George Ngwira

It appears like the audit was done by street boys.
The Chief Elections Officer account is a duly authorised account by the Minister of finance. There is nothing sinister about it. Some Ministries have similar accounts in the name of Secretary for Agriculture, Secretary for Educstion etc.
How can an a bank account be secret when it has as many as six signatories and its records maintained by the Director of Finance?
Nyasatimes, take time to analyse your stories before publishing.
AMalawi tiyeni tiphunzire chilungamo. Nsanje ndi kaduka zachuluka kwambiri sitingatukuke

Jocob Madeira

Khumbo is a useless character. Iye koma kuchinda mahule pa Kamba. The guy graduated over 20 years ago but still a Batchelor , living in a 2 bedroomed MHC house in maone.
I am not surprised kuti ndi mbuzi yolephera


Director of Finance: Khumbo! Kkkkkkkkk

angoni apaphata

As an accountant the Director of finance should have expected this. He is the final custodian of all financial records. Ma cheque amalembedwawo if it was Kalonga secret account mec would not be involved but they were coming out of Mec which means he is the biggets judas or failure ndiye anamuonelera. Ukakhala accountant opepera amakuoneleraabwana


investigate even the way Bruce munthali, kamala and shela has been recruiting members of staff at tobacco control commission. njatani yense wakuba shupitiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii

marvey marvei

Thanks for this story.
From your investigations why was the secret account named CEO and not KALONGA. CEO is a position and not an individual’s name so I am confused.
From your investigation exactly how much did the chairman receive from this account. I ask because you were able to give us the rest of the details.
Finally, who is responsible for maintaining a cashbook at MEC is it the Chairman, the CEO or the finance department. Please inform us of the financial structure.

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