Releasing ‘grand corruption’ names has legal implications – AG

Auditor General (AG) Stephen Kamphasa says he has sought legal advice from the Attorney General on whether to release names and companies named in the forensic audit that established that about K236 billion in public funds could not be reconciliated between 2009 and December 31 2014.

Kaphale, Senior Counsel: To give legal advice

Kaphale, Senior Counsel: To give legal advice

Kamphasa said there was some“legal implications” on the release of the names hence the decision to consult Attorney General Kalekeni Kaphale for legal opinion.

The government was expected to release the names and companies on Tuesday.

The audit was conducted by British firm RSM Risk Insurance LLP.

The Auditor General has not however indicated when he will get the response.

President of the Malawi Law Society of Malawi John Suzi Banda has backed the Auditor General on his decision to delay the release of the names until a legal advice is sought.

“He indeed needs to seek the legal opinion to ensure that all legal implications are cleared. He should  hold on to the names until he is advised,” Banda said.

He said rushing in releasing the names might have prosecution implications.

“Our focus should not be on the release of the names, we should not be excited with the release of the names but successful prosecution of those involved therefore the auditor general needs to be cautious,” said John Suzi Banda.

He however urged the Attorney General to give the legal advice in a transparent manner to clear suspicion.

According to the report, the audit found that K83.5 billion of the K236 billion which could not be accounted for was paid to 44 companies from the sample of 50 that the auditors selected to analyse.

The audit also found that billions were lost in overpayment of goods and services, duplicate payments and overpayment on shipping to wrong locations.

Initially, the amount suspected to have not been accounted for was pegged at K577 billion, according to a PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) data analysis released in May 2015.

However, the forensic audit established, through its testing of the system and controls, that the unreconciled funds could be in the region of K236 billion.

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10 thoughts on “Releasing ‘grand corruption’ names has legal implications – AG”

  1. tozer tsono says:

    After the murder of ACB Director Njauju, and the prevailing failure to unearth the perpetrators, it would make sense to publicize the names. Remember this,
    “Although the government has through Minister of Information and Civic Education Kondwani Nankhumwa asked people not to speculate about his death, there is high belief in the public domain that the Mangochi man might have been murdered due to the nature of his job”.

    If you can publicize businesses names, which are owned by looters, why not publicize the names of individuals? Attorney General has provided wrong advice. Infact, he should have recused himself having not only directly represented Bingu on questionable money accumulation through Bineth Trust but also his appointment was by the very brother of the the same former president under whose rule, the looting took place. Golden Matonga wrote an article for The Nation on February 1, 2015, titled “Govt drops cases linked to Bingu”. Kaphale could not comment on the case in which he represented the Bingu family regarding ownership of Bineth Trust, citing “Conflict”.
    Malawian ought to request full disclosure of names now to figure out how to protect would be witnesses from being killed or silenced plus protect evidence being set on fire. The problem with the law society President’s comment is symptomatic of the general malaise afflicting most Malawians; Wishful thinking. How do you ensure Kalekeni Kaphale is transparent regarding the decision not to publicize the names of looters? The looters know they stole the money, who was involved at each level of government, where they deposited the money or spent it, etc. Once the witnesses are disposed of just like in Njauju was or evidence stolen from German auditing teams, the case will fizzle for lack of substance.
    Expose them now!

  2. Ozitsata says:

    Is the Attorney General himself conflicted; one way or the other?

  3. The Patriot says:

    Since when has naming a suspect become a legal problem? During the PP government cashgate names were released immediately, without asking the former AG for a legal opinion!
    What if Mr Kaphale takes years to give us his “opinion”?
    Just tell us the names of the “tycoons” and political heavy weights involved and we will start bashing them here at Nyasatimes! We will bash them, their party, their tribes and their girlfriends or boyfriends!!
    Kumene muliko the “cashgate 7” , you shoukd be peeing in your pants!

  4. Achimidzimidzi says:

    All we want to know are names of people who received payments that our AG is failing account for.
    These people are responsible enough to show us what services were being paid for.

    After all, we know DPP and PP are the only parties whose members are registered thieves in Malawi. Very few may come from MCP or AFORD.

  5. Maunisi says:

    Agree with number 3 the other minister who is involved is Kondwani Nankhumwa. There remain three will come out tomorrow. You can see all these names are Lhomwe people. Guys these are thieves no wonder Kamphasha is fearing. We will not accept prosecution should take its course. Anthu oipa inu mmanyoza Joice Banda kuti anali wakuba wakuba muli inu. Joice Banda released the names immediately why not u I know there is also big fish in this grand theft. Impeachment will have to take its course. Kamlepo we rely on you come on these people have stolen all our moneys and they want to continue stealing our money.

  6. ManoRo says:

    Some Malawians are imbeciles. Can’t you see that releasing names will scare away material evidence that could be used in prosecuting the suspects in court? The AG can even launch investigations on the suspects now before they conceal prime evidence.

  7. Trendex says:

    IF CASHGATE HAS LEGAL IMPLICATIONS, THEN RELEASE THOSE ARE SERVING SENTENCES ON THE SAME BECAUSE THEY ARE SERVING THEIR SENTENCES ON CASHGATE ACCUSATIONS. WHY DO YOU WANT TO SPARE SACRED COWS?

    1. Bwana says:

      Spot on! Why is it that these same fools are busy implicating JB on the same without thinking about legal implications even if no audit report mentions her. This is from an audit report so mention them

  8. john says:

    IF KAMPHASA IS RUNNING AWAY FROM RESPONSIBILITY, I CAN HELP HIM NAME THE CULPRITS. AMONG THE SEVEN MINISTERS WE HAVE KALIATI, CHAPONDA AND HENRY MUSSA. I WILL BRING MORE NAMES TOMORROW.

  9. john says:

    I DONT SEE THE LEGAL IMPLICATIONS HERE. ITS NOT LIKE THE AG WOULD TELL THE NATION THAT SUCH SUCH INDIVIDUALS AND COMPANIES STOLE THE MONEY. HE WILL SIMPLY NAME THE INDIVIDUALS AND COMPANIES AND STATE THAT THEIR FILES HAVE GONE TO ACB FOR FURTHER SCRUTINY. FINISH. PALIBE ZOOPA APA. MWATANI KODI A SUZI BANDA?

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