New cashgate: Malawi govt ministries using inflated figures in vehicle maintenance

Millions of public money is going down the drain in bogus vehicle maintenance of unserviceable and uneconomic vehicles by various ministries and departments in what some sources at Capital Hill has described as another form of “Cashgate” which is benefitting officers on one hand and dubious private garages on the other while ripping off the taxpayer.

Msowoya: There is grain of truth

Msowoya: There is grain of truth

An investigation by Nyasa Times has unravelled this malpractice to be common in almost all government ministries and departments especially those who own large fleets of vehicles like Health and Education ministries.

Random visits to various private garages in Biwi Triangle, Malangalanga, Kawale and other place in the Capital Lilongwe revealed that a lot of government vehicles have been lying idle in these garages for very long periods of time which makes it possible for these to be used as a conduit of siphoning taxpayers money.

This development also comes hot on the heels of the recent order by Office of the President and Cabinet (OPC) who have directed that PVHO should constitute a Board of Survey for all government plant and vehicles which is aimed at boarding off all outmoded vehicles which are uneconomic to run thereby causing a drain on public resources.

Treasury spokesperson Nations Msowoya confessed that this revelation may not be far from the truth because the budget line that incorporate vehicles maintenance is difficult to manage by its very nature.

According to Nyasa Times sources at Capital Hill said most government ministries send vehicles and plants in private garages like Biwi Triangle, Malangalanga, Kawale and other places where on paper they go for routine maintenance when in actual sense this is used as a means of siphoning government money.

“Government officers connive with these unscrupulous private garage owners to inflate invoices which government ministries duly honour these bills. But in actual sense some of these vehicles are either lying idle at Capital Hill or in these garages and no service never took place. This is just another form of ‘Cashgate’, “our source said in an interview.

The source said government is losing huge sums of money in this manner amounting to millions each and every month especially in ministries who have large fleets of vehicles like Health, Education, and Public Works.

Treasury spokesperson admitted this is very possible because of the way Treasury funds maintenance of vehicles budget line.

“You may wish to know that the budget line that incorporates vehicle maintenance in the budget document is called Travel budget. This includes hotel charges for officers travelling outside their duty station, subsistence allowances, fuel and lubricants and the vehicle maintenance itself. Such being the case it is difficult to quantify how much money goes into vehicle maintenance specifically,” said Msowoya.

He further confessed that it is a difficult budget line to manage as such the allegations being made may be true because as Treasury they have for a long time noticed that vehicle maintenance bills in most ministries are alarming and amounts to millions of Kwacha every month.

Said Msowoya:”If you remember during the reign of President Bingu wa Mutharika government made a decision that all government vehicles should be maintained at PVHO as a means of managing this elusive budget line. However, this never really materialised. That why private garages are still used today. You may also wish to know that dealers like Toyota Malawi, CFAO and other dealers their bills are also on the higher side.”

However, officials say the procedure for maintaining government vehicles is that they should go to PVHO for inspection who will in turn recommend that indeed they should go for maintenance and they are given a go ahead.

It is also a requirement that when they return from maintenance they should also go back to PVHO for re-inspection to verify whether indeed they have been serviced and maintained properly but this is ignored by ministries because they are afraid that this malpractice will be discovered.

The source further revealed that on the order by OPC, some few ministries are complying while most are resisting for fear of being discovered on how they have been siphoning public resources.

“With the current status quo Public Service Reform will remain just an illusion to be pursued but never attained. PVHO has been reduced to a dormant and dumping yard for unproductive personnel there is not work to do. Suffice to say that the order by OPC will give some work to PVHO in removing all government vehicles which are being used as a conduit of siphoning public resources,” said our Capital Hill source.

He further said once PVHO finishes inspecting and getting rid of all these out and uneconomic plant and vehicles which will in turn be auctioned, government may realise about K200million which may go a long way to help boost government revenue in the wake of the “zero aid budget’.

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62 thoughts on “New cashgate: Malawi govt ministries using inflated figures in vehicle maintenance”

  1. Mapuyamurupare says:

    Mtumbuka sangalamulire MuYao or Mlomwe Ngakhale Mchewa.
    Mtumbuka ndi wautsiru kwambiri. Mtumbuka ndiwasankho kwambiri. Alibe mzeru.
    Just go to NGOs like save the children and MSH zinthu sizimayenda chifukwa cha
    atumbuka. Mmalo mogwira ntchito amangokhalirira miseche kukamba za anzao
    kuti agwe cholinga alowesepo wakwithu. Panyeropanu ndithu.

  2. Chief says:

    It is only the Mighty M.C.P and CHAKWERA who can run this country without corruption.

  3. kennedy jailos says:

    koma ya zilipo nkhani pamalawi

  4. Nanunsotu a Life, it seems you were once an officer who were assighned to do procurement work temporarily and you were doing this malprctice but you were removed. How can a PO do this. I thought there are IPCs who check these before payment is done? Mwangodana nawo ma PO basi. Nkhani yofunika ndi yoti ma vehicles should go to PVHO b4 and after services. Komanso ku PVHO komweko ndi komwe kuli chisawawa. Eni ake a magarage ndi omwewonso a ku PVHOwo. Eni a magarage amagwirizana ndi a PVHO staff as if the vehicle has been serviced. And most of the vehicles in ministries are handled by mechanicle supervisors and transport officers not POs. A Life dont be emotional.Mwapangatu zazikulu inu. Musatinamize.

  5. Mwendanato says:

    When Bingu just came to power he said it that he is surprised that government had a large fleet of vehicles than it required and promised to reduce it to the right amount it required and bold off all unrequired vehicles. I dont know why this skipped his mind but he also resurrected the idea to revamp PVHO but it did not materialise since the lady who took over was cheaky. Indeed PVHO must be fully revamped to do its job. So it either at the vehicle dealers from which governmnent buys or PVHO just in the same manner the government print and stores should be the only source of stationary and print materials. These have been conduits for government money for services not rendered. Wake up Malwi GOVERNMENT of DPP or you will slip the PP way. Drak PP forces are working tirelessly to ensure you fall twice than PP did ndipo this is not a lie encluding the muck racking guy.

  6. PHODO says:

    pvho should be back in tract to avoid more maintenance gate

  7. Daud Zakaria says:

    Solutions for Malawi problem in governance in general will come only from Malawians.Government with the involvement of all stakeholders including all private sectors with good understanding of people’s welfare must come up with a document,politically unbiased that will outline procedures of procurement,national development strategy,land reforms,foreign policy,primary health care,all economic attainment activities that will lead to real national self reliance,having in mind agricultural and mining development.This document should be properly prepared and endorsed by parliament as a guideline for any government that will come in power to ensure continuity.All government arms,that is courts,parliament and the executive must actively take a leading role in ensuring that this type of document is respected as a NATIONAL DOCUMENT FOR DEVELOPMENT.All checks and balances organizations or groupings must play a role to ensure transparency and deal with all attempts of abuse.This type of document can help in achieving equal distribution of resources for sound national development and map out the future for the next generations.Only then,after we get a clear measurable development plan,we shall defeat the economic management abuse that has grown roots in all sectors of our society.

  8. Kalikokha says:

    Government would sleep easy if they could just negotiate a discounted maintenance plan for every new vehicle bought from dealers. It may look steep initially but very economical in the long term as various prices are fixed at the outset.

  9. KAYIRA says:

    Big culplits of this malpractice are:
    1. Irrigation Department
    2. Water Department
    3. Ministry of Health
    4. Ministry of Education
    5. All District Councils

  10. VYOTO says:

    ALL THIS MALPRATICE BOILS DOWN TO THE SLEEPINESS OF THE AUDITORS AT NATIONAL AUDIT OFFICE AND THE INTERNAL AUDITORS IN THE GOVERNMENT MINISTRIES AND DEPARTMENTS.THIS MALPRACTICE IS ONE OF THOSE VERY OBVIOUS THINGS THAT A RESPONSIBLE AND COMPETENT AUDITOR BE IT EXTERNAL OR INTERNAL WOULD BE LOOKING FOR.THE ISSUE OF INFLATION OF INVOICES IN GOVERNMENT IS NOT ONLY LIMITED TO MAINTENANNCE BILLS BUT EXTENDS TO MOST PAYMENTS TO SUPPLIERS OF GOODS AND SERVICES.THERE ARE SOME SUPPLIERS WHO ARE VERY RICH TODAY BECAUSE OF BEING PAID BY GOVERNMENT MINISTRIES AND DEPARTMENTS FOR EITHER NO DELIVERY AT ALL OR UNDER DELIVERY OF GOODS.

    HAVING SAID THAT, LET US NOT FORGET THAT ALL THESE MALPRACTICES IN GOVERNMENT ARE AS A RESULT OF EXTRA ORDINARILY POOR REMUNERATION PACKAGE.NANGA ZOONA MABWANA AT DIRECTORSHIP LEVEL KUMALANDIRA MK250,000 YOMWE NDI YA MESSENGER KU AIRTEL!!!!!!!!!!!

    KOMA A MUDANGO NYIRENDA, MU CAPITAL HILL NDI MWA BIWI MUTU ANTHU AKWIYA NAYO NKHANIYITU KWABASI!!!!

  11. Insha Allah says:

    The most surprising thing is that 90% of all involved in these evils are Christians and moslems alike. Every Fridays, Saturday, Sundays they are seen going for prayers to launder their sins in vehicles ill gotten from the proceeds of fraud and theft.

  12. Yokwiya says:

    PVHO is just a white elephant. It has the capacity to service all government vehicles. Just visit their premises you will find equipment lying idle.Even staff just playing Bawo. If not, doing private jobs using government equipment. Its pathetic. They have equipment to skim engines, polish crankshafts, lathe machines etc but government departments prefer to go to private companies for service of their vehicle where they get kickbacks. I remember somebody bought a government truck which was taken as write off. But the only problem it had was a broken gear lever which could easily have been mended at PVHO. The guy just welded it and the truck was on the road the same day he bought it. This shows how wasteful our ministries are. PVHO could also be making a lot of money if they were to offer services to the public. They have staff who have been trained abroad but they are doing nothing. I think Government reforms should start from there.

  13. freedom says:

    Maso a mbuzi
    what do you do for leaving,do you want to tell Malawians that the government salary meet the united nations wage requirements for an average Malawian? Don’t you know that even your own personal attach can cheat on you if you don’t pay him accordingly to his family requirements.even your own son can cheat you if you overlook at what he wants.stop being arrogant.help to stop this mismanagement of gov’t departments funds by advising collectively to our leaders.this is our country and we all need to be patriotic both ways.osati mbuzi yikagunda galu ,galu akagunda mbuzi chiwewe mumpeni. Malawians wage bill is too old,let us base the wage bill based on todays requirement.after all swell paid employee can develop the country as he can afford to pay collage fees for his sons and daughters which is the key to success of mother Malawi.

  14. mbwiyache says:

    Then the guys at PVHO are either failing their job or are part of the scheme. This is so because before a govt vehicle goes for inspection at PVHO who determines what parts need repairing. After the vehicle is released from the garage, it goes for a post inspection again at PVHO who are supposed to certify whether maintenance has been satisfactory or not.

  15. freedom says:

    Malipiro akuchepa hence the self made source of income.govt pay your employees well and you will see a good service delivery from all departments.looking at MRA staff,well paid and you will agree with me that they commit themselves to good delivery of their respective services.Don’t be greedy,rather pay well.

  16. Mphwiyo says:

    As former budget director cashgate won’t end. I found it we left it

  17. Zachisoni Phiri says:

    Woops poor Malawians you want war

  18. Angoni says:

    Andrews Garage and Panel Beaters ndiye mwini wa zimenezi!

  19. Life says:

    No one can feign not to know this. The procurement officers in government use this as their main source of income. If an audit was made, government would find out-of-this world charges for a vehicle maintainance. Actually, the indicate so many parts replaced when in fact, no part was. Garages would charge 1 million for servicing an ambulance needed replacing a shattered lens. AND a small and quick assessment of procurement officers would show you that they are too rich for a civil servant. Just pick 10 procurement officers in Ministry of health and do a thorough assessment of their wealth.

  20. Abdul Majid says:

    Ndi zimene ama paanga HTD

    Can some one plz check on these mwenyez

  21. Tengupenya says:

    Ma cash gate ndi mbwembwembwe. If someone ignores a systematic process, then there is some gain for someone. The issue for whistle blowers and investigators is always who is gaining what?

  22. Peter Mthibulo says:

    Guys I think enough is got a limit. Its time to rise up against this mad man’s government. Not through armed struggle but through peaceful means. Its time for street protests and just that. Let’s put pressure on this mathanyula boy. He must resign.

    For a country like ours that has never been at war, it is unacceptable that we carry on suffering because our taxes are being pocketd while we stand and look.

    1. Nellynv says:

      This racket started way back in 1994 when UDF came to power. Before that it was unheard of that a government vehicle would be found outside P. V. H. O being repaired. Only the franchised dealers were authorized to touch govt vehicle. As a remedy to this PVHO workshops should be revived. This is where Polytechnic graduates and Technical graduates used to work. Civil Service reform should include this as a priority as a cost serving measure and employment creation for the many graduates that are unemployed. Urgent.

    2. Sapitwa kakulanye says:

      Peter MthibuLo, it is not the present government responsible for what is reported but a system where those entrusted are abusing it. I don’t think it has just started but must have been there for sometime. Don’t mix issues. For your information in government people who benefit from a certain system are resistant to any proposed change. That is one of the reasons they don’t involve PVHO as instructed in 2010. Even authorised garages, the charges are too high for government vehicles as some have said. So it is not the president but those working in government who want to get rich quickly. People resist and say many bad things when authorities want to change things in this country. Stop accusing wrong people.

  23. chim says:

    Nyasa times keep up the good work

  24. Batuso says:

    This is ua tym of enjoying but ua reminded to keep some thing after all enjoyments bcoz de next government will also follow ua steps en blv me dat some of u zidzakutsalirani en u will regret!!blv me or not.

  25. Mponga says:

    Tawasiyani aziba wina achita tsoka akalowa ku maula nkusiya nkazi akuchindidwa ndi wena ananso akuvutika.

  26. maurrice says:

    Bring back PVHO,or PVHO must stop banking there money in acc#1,there was a time whenPVHO was big every machine from government was serviced and repaired by my good engineers today mwati kwa abiwi lol.tamufusani uyoooo kuti atiuze za PVHO anakazimwela kuti

  27. Sub.T/A says:

    Tithokoze inu a Nyasatimes popanda jnu sitikamazidziwatu izi paja wina wa dpp waneneratu kuti ino ndi nthawi yodyerera ndi zimenezo sizinati

    1. ayaya says:

      Nyasatimes contact no. please?

  28. lol says:

    Increase salaries for civil servants, set good standards all this will end.

    1. Maso ambuzi says:

      Those advocating that civil servants steal because of low salaries have corrupt and rotten Qs. Employment contact is between employer and employee under agreed terms including salaries. If an employee is not happy with their salary, are u saying they should steal? God forbid, I have read a lot of such careless comments and it’s time people should make sober and principled comments

  29. muhamad emwazi says:

    Ine nnalowela m’boma kuti ndiziba basi!!!!!!!!!!

  30. Mchinji says:

    Pls check on ldf projects mostly they are paper work projects, some projects are using different names to reffer to the one project. Common in forestry projects

  31. Phillimon HARAWA says:

    MALAWI TINASIYA KUGWIRA NTCHITO MWA NDONDOMEKO. WE DO NOT FOLLOW THE REGULATIONS. WORK ETHICS, PRINCIPLES,AND REGULATIONS MUST BE FOLLOWED. WE WILL ALWAYS REMEMBER THE CIVIL SERVICE OF KAMUZU. EVERYTHING WAS DONE ON TIME. SALARIES, LEAVE GRANTS, SCHOOL CALENDER,COLLEGE SELECTION RESULTS ALL ON TIME. WHERE ARE WE MISSING IT TODAY? LET US COME BACK TO OUR SENSES.

  32. Ine Pheeee says:

    Cashgate will not end in Malawi! As I am speaking, Malawi Defence Force is using Malawi Sun Hotel and Victoria Hotel to syphon funds. These are the companies who are catering for MDF

  33. ONYO!!! says:

    THIS IS WHY YOU CAR DEALERS DOING VERY WELL IN MALAWI JUST WITH THINNER ECONOMY AS IT IS.

  34. Kamwendo says:

    Cashgate will not end in the government unless there is a political will. The ministry of education accounts are still benefiting from the fake arrears which they connvie with rural teachers more especially in Mzimba. Millions of tax payers money is being stolen on monthly basis.

  35. kwa nijooo says:

    Bodza basi chech like Toyota Mw they can give service estimates for 5yr period which is reasonable koma ma driver a boma lathu careless driving galimoto runs only for 1 yr its a crap already dala kufuna kumadyapo

  36. kagolo chikaphonya says:

    Ndiye mwadziwa mochedwatu

  37. CHIYAMBA says:

    THE TRUTH IS THAT PVHO DOESN’T HAVE CAPACITY (NO OR LESS PERSONNEL & NO EQUIPMENT OR SPARES). CFAO, TMAL, STANSFIELD BILLS ARE EXORBITANT (TOO HIGH) THEY GOOD AT SERVICING NEW FLEET BUT FAIL TO MAINTAIN OLDER VEHICLE. LET GOVT EMPLOY MECHANICS & FUND PVHO OTHERWISE FORGET ABOUT IT. SOME PRITATE GARAGES ARE PERFOMING WELL

  38. Galu WA galu says:

    This is business as usual. This problem is the whole Malawi. Ndi a police omwe matola.

  39. Kasinja Mfula says:

    Legitimate and industry-settled dealers like Toyota Malawi would be the best. Some people might say they are expensive but the monies being stolen through these Biwi garages is likely to be on the higher side than what could be paid at companies like Toyota Malawi etc.

  40. Patriot says:

    Monga ngati awa awononga pafupifupi K45 million kukalemba ka khoma kenakache ku Lumbadzi?

  41. Mngoni weniweni says:

    While I don’t argue with the reporter on this story, I have some reservations. I am neither a civil servant, nor do I own a garage, but what I can assure the reporter is that he should also know and acknowledge that there are some civil servants who use their personal resources to make their offices tick. The reporter should also be conversant with motor vehicle spare parts prices before rushing to criticize ministry bosses and garage owners. Just go to either Toyota Malawi, Stansfield or CFAO and ask for only a service of your car ( I mean only oil and filters changing) and compare with the rest of the garages you are referring to here.

  42. Kyu says:

    Kodi mukuona ngati cashgate ingathe. Anthu anayamba kuba nthawi Ya Kamuzu ku reserve bank ndiye musatisokose. Tikakhala pheee musamaone ngati nonsenu mukulimbananu sitimakuziwani. Mbava zokhazokha

  43. Achimidzimidzi says:

    Mwana wa nkhuku amawonera amache ku bibira mkhola.

  44. MKWate says:

    Water Department nde masters of siphoning money in this way. Ku Regional Water Office, north is classical example

  45. naminga says:

    Wamva Raymond kwa Biwi! Watchout

  46. OGO!! says:

    Idiotic Malawians people were saying Cashgate inayamba nthawi ya DPP need I say more. Munangomuonelela mai uja and mphongo zambili zinakwiya ktui akufuna kuwatsekeleza…kaya. Tione mene zithele.

  47. Dick says:

    I LIKE THE WAY MSOWOYA ANSWERS QUESTIONS. HE IS VERY HONEST. KEEP IT UP MSOWOYA

  48. Malawiana says:

    If these stories are true, would it not be economical for government to be hiring vehicles than owning large fleets of vehicles which provide a fertile ground for corruption?

  49. Mbonga Matoga says:

    It was Bakili who started all this by rendering PVHO dysfunctional in order to benefit his midyomba who had opened bogus private garages in Mchesi, Kawale, Biwi, Area 23 & Malagalanga just to mention a few places.

  50. Kadakwiza says:

    Malawi sizathekanso. Pafunika mtumbuka alamulire tsopano. Kuba kuzatha muboma.

  51. NOT ONLY LILONGWE, ALSO VISIT BLANTYRE, ZOMBA,MZUZU, AND OTHER DISTRICS.

    AND SOME HAVE BENEFITED THEM TO BELONG TO THEM FOR PERSON BUSINESS.

  52. Mwama Du says:

    VOMEREZANI KUFOOKA KWANU. CASHGATE INAYAMBA NTHAWI YANU!

  53. Kanyimbi says:

    Why are government vehicles sent to private garages? I thought the government has PVHO which has mechanics?

  54. Siphoning ambulances, no doubt about that kk! ine kudabwa galimoto zinazi ngati ambulance.

  55. mesho says:

    Ma civo servant choooonde chepetsani kusolola

  56. chikhwalingwa says:

    very true. check South west Education Div as well. The O/C there connives with drivers to suphon money from unsuspecting headteachrs through fuel overestimations. thieves!

  57. Eeish says:

    the truth is that due to limited ceilings and funding of Ministries due to economic woes, they can not manage to replace old fleet. 4×4, mostly used by Government are by their nature expensive to maintain unlike saloon vevicles eg suspension, tyres, injectors, pumps etc. Research this story well pse. not everyone in govt is there to steal.

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