So, now what? Muckraking on Malawi cashgate audit report

 “Be realistic, demand the impossible!” –Ernesto Che Guevara

Is it only me who thinks the publication of the Baker Tilly report by the Malawi Government is ill-advised, premature, misguided and risky?

Nankhumwa (left ) Tembenu right handing over Baker Tilly Report

Nankhumwa (left ) Tembenu right handing over Baker Tilly Report

I will explain why I hold that view a little later.

But, of course, most of us wanted the famous – read ‘infamous’ – ‘cashgate’ report published ‘yesterday’ for no other reasons than the ‘entertainment’ part of it. We envisioned certain names in there and we were salivating as to when they will be laid bare.

But I know that after government was pressurised into publishing it most of us were disappointed because the report – if truth be told – did not have the wow! factor, if you see what I mean.

Look, going through the report, one begins to understand why the British advised government against making it public. You see, the report is nothing but a bad draft of ‘work in progress’. For all it is worth, the report clearly confesses that in most – if not all – cases there is need for further investigations.

I actually do not understand why the duo of the learned Samuel Tembenu and Kalekeni Kaphale could not advise government on the folly of going public with such a half-baked report. Of course, the Justice Minister now wears two hats – that of a lawyer and a politician. Maybe good ol’ Sam is learning fast that rationality is not a virtue in politics.

I know the DPP-led government was under extreme pressure to release the Baker Tilly report because, after all, the party promised on the campaign trail that it would release the report once it won the elections. Holding on to it could have, therefore, excited uncomfortable suggestions that maybe the report contains certain names whose publication may embarrass government.

But the Attorney General, as Chief Legal Advisor of government, should have guided the politicians well. Political expediency should not have informed good judgment.

Look, the release of the report has only succeeded in providing Malawians with some juicy weekend reading, some free entertainment. It is actually a trending issue on facebook and twitter.
But, other than the entertainment part of it, it has also succeeded in complicating, nay, jeopardising the work of the ACB.

This is how I mean…to most of us, those ‘named and shamed’ are the ‘bad guys’ that robbed us blind, they must be sent to the cleaners.

But if you read the report with a sober mind, this is clearly ‘work in progress’; more work needs to be done. The report actually says it cannot be used in any sane court of law.

Look, it even found some people guilty by association. According to the gospel according to the Baker Tilly report, if your lover is a thief you too must be a thief! What rubbish is that!

But to the common man in the streets, after this ‘naming and shaming’ phase, they need action. And now! But the ACB cannot just arrest ‘a person of interest’ without incontrovertible evidence.

However, any delay in effecting arrests of these ‘named and shamed’ bad guys, the ACB will be accused of shielding certain ‘sacred cows’.

For folks at the ACB, their work is cut out for them and I do not envy their situation. They have to juggle between doing a professional job, that needs time, and satisfying public opinion.

Look what is happening now; the Attorney General himself has started exonerating some of the people ‘named and shamed’ in the report. The big question should be: if the whole chief legal advisor of the whole government has started saying certain names should not have been on the list of those to be ‘named and shamed’, why did he not advise the Justice Minister properly?

Apart from those whom Kalekeni Kaphale is publicly willing to exonerate, who else was not supposed to be on the list of the ‘named and shamed’?

If my idea of the workings of government is up-to-date, before Samuel Tembenu called Kondwani Nankhumwa to join him at that exposé press conference, he should have consulted with Kalekeni Kaphale to clear all legal cobwebs.

But when you have the whole Attorney General seemingly trying to second-guess his own Justice Minister, you know you have a government system in disconnect.

But, after all is said and done, although it has come as an anti-climax, at least Malawians have the report they have been yearning for. Whether the ‘named and shamed’ bad guys are as black as they are painted is the sequel Malawians are impatiently waiting for in the ‘cashgate’ fairytale.

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30 thoughts on “So, now what? Muckraking on Malawi cashgate audit report”

  1. With federal govt it was going to be easy to trap the culprits. With this modern system leaders are just pirates sweeping money away. Even those on investigation are either part of the cashgate or bought. Nothing positive will come out. If something positive will come out very few will be caught. These people are numerous, hence, leaders are to blame, who are just left free.

  2. Cicero says:

    The big problem lies in us Malawians voluntarily voting for thieves into government. Why vote for DPP, PP, UDF & MCP. I didn’t vote even though I was a polling officer because am frustrated with these thieves such Peter, JB, Atupele etc & Malawians did vote for them because of their tribes but today everybody is suffering for poor choice.

  3. JohnM says:

    In my opinion, it was a mistake keeping an audit report a secret. Frankly speaking an audit report is just that an audit report. The reasons for keeping it a secret were not convincing. Everyone knows that an audit report raises a query. When someone is mentioned that a transaction is not properly accounted for, it is up to the individual mentioned to explain himself or to clear himself. Where he or she fails to explain himself then the Government can take the individual to court to recover the money. An Audit report is be all and end all.

    Tenthani fails to understand that all an auditor does is look at discrepancies in financial transactions. Other aspects of investigations are not carried out by an auditor, that is the duty of the ACB and Police, the Fiscal section, and other bodies. It in my opinion unfair to accuse the auditors of not completing the report because in as far as their duties are concerned they have completed it. It is up to the law enforcement bodies to gather evidence for court cases that will ensue if they feel that these activities were criminal in nature.

    I am however skeptical about the girlfriend issue with regard to Roy. As far as I am concerned that is outside the scope of the auditors work and in this regard I feel that the report may have been doctored.

  4. Naganza says:

    There is money in Malawi enough to develop the country healthy sector but all the money have gone in Mansions of greed people who don’t care about how their nation look like. Look at Malawi after 50 years after independence. They could not even cerebrate like Zambians did. What a shame. We all know people who could not afford anything some years ago but now they have built mansions without mortgage. Where in the whole world one can build a big house without a mortgage? These people have more than one house and many lands in the cities. How much a government worker earn in Malawi? How much Lutepo and MPhwiyo Young as he is where could he have got all that money. The whole story of Cash Gate is an insult to the Malawians who are suffering. Nothing will come up. All people who stole money will keep what they stole and continue stealing. Because in Malawi corruption is a system. To kill the system Malawi needed a government which has never been in corruption. We are still with the same people who also corrupted. Malawians don’t love their own nation. Almost all Malawians corrupt. BRIBE is so huge that it is sickness. My passport is not stamped I paid but they are holding it and I know why. Last time I wanted to renew my visa they asked for MK70 000 which was MK30 000 for visa and the rest they wanted to speed up the processes. It is so sick that one want to shoot the idiots. Until something happen to these people who ask for Tandinzo then they will learn to stop. demanding money from those who also work hard and have little. It is so evil. These DDP government is quite about bribes which is going on.

  5. Nyaulembe says:

    Raphael Tenthani (RT in short). There’s nothing wrong to release the report. Every government is answerable to the voters and they’re not dull or gullible a population. They have capacity to read between lines and pick the truth out of the report.
    On the same note you write as if the AG is seing the report just now. The report to many isn’t new and ACB doesn’t depend on it to do their work. They are way ahead of that report which to me is a shallow report. To assume that they need that report to do their work is to underestimate grossly their capabilities in their field.

  6. Who recommended Baker Tillfy? The British high commissioner after former PM Tony Blair said so. Kupatsana ntchito azungu. This work needed the likes of Price Waterhouse Coopers. There is political manoeuvring to get JB off the hook.

  7. Nonsense country! This malawi is just full of idiots…..you guys should come to GHANA and see how things should be done!
    Proudly ghanaian! The most developed country in africa, and not foolish nigeria and stupid south africa

    1. Zankutu says:

      Perhaps not as idiotic enough as you Ghanaians who will always find a way of going one step forward and 3 steps back

  8. Kalanga says:

    Totally agree with the above! This report is like as if those who did the forensic r not learned. Though in draft, it was supposed to give clear direction and not two faced.

    How can u publish the name of someone coz of girlfriend! U ve to know that relations ve secrecy hence u cant really know the nature of ur girlfriend until married!

    As for me I doubt the credibility of this report!

  9. M'doko says:

    Ican see phada only. They are over looking us

  10. Chilungamo Chimawawa says:

    i agree with no 1 Mbanangwa, that the government will now dance heavily from the beats by private lawyers as they now have food on the table and that it will be easy to digest. furthermore Malawians are now interested to hear about K92 billion cash gate where Bingu, Peter and the rest of DPP cashgaters were vehemently involved……………

  11. Mbwiye Wapata says:

    Thought this is just an audit report that is supposed to guide the authorities in their next course of action. The government has just presented the findings of Baker Tilly and seems there is nothing wrong with that. All we know is that the issues raised are to be investigated in order to establish the truth. It is even quite surprising to see others shaking and becoming furious at the mention of their names. There are people who have been mentioned there but still walking freely because I believe the ACB wishes to establish the truth before picking them. That the government was ill-advised on the release of the report is debatable. That it has been forced to release the report to live to its pre-election promise,I don’t totally agree with it. I recall Malawians pressurising the former PP led government to do the same. What the government has done is just to let Malawians know the names of individuals and companies mentioned in the report… If we are dissatisfied with what is there,then its not the government to blame.

  12. pearson sadala says:

    Drunk of politics . Tembenu my boy jack up dont wank that dick head

  13. Patriot says:

    Ayi ziri bwino, azikolana kolana choncho
    GOD IS ON OUR SIDE exposing the machiavelic blood of DPP.
    By the way ma civil servants sanaladire

  14. Mapwiya says:

    How much money was paid to Baker Tilly for this poor work?

  15. UNDERWEAR says:

    Do not just smile.It is the duty of every government through the bank to investigate someones source of income.No bank can just accept receiving billions from someone doing garden work.Even the should be quizzing individuals who acquire good which are suspected.If these laws are not there..then then is condined

  16. grinzo says:

    Well articulated observation,the question we should be asking ourselves is was this report wealthy publishing? Where now from here? I fail to understand why this report was made public. We are now in tricky situation.

  17. Bwenzi says:

    Baker Tilly, u don’t know yo job. If u do come and challenge the doctored report. For those who r trying 2 hide the truth know this: ‘there is no secret under the sun’. If u disregard and oppress the poor know that u r creating environment where yo grandchildren will b oppressed by their leaders 2moro. There were oppressor more than u but where r they? What we 4get is that soon we’ll go six feet down with only one suit and it’s not too long. Our children will sell our properties. There were the ‘mkango’, the ‘mose’, the ‘iron lady’ etc, where r they. Wisdom is to understand this! Repent 4 rapture is coming soon.

  18. Kadzibwa says:

    The report is nkhwinkhwidable,unprofessional and just tarnishing de reputation of auditors who did de job.

  19. Ndakhumudwa says:

    And the over reliance on social media biodata is not pleasing. Look, men are able to open social media accounts as girls and put profile pictures of pretty girls, and ofcourse vice versa. I find nothing forensic in searching for a persons details on facebook or linkedin

  20. Wa Nzeru Wa Kummawa says:

    A Tenthani.. You cannot rubbish Baker Tilly report simply because you are intellectually challenged to understand forensic opinion. We in forensics clearly understand the link of how Roy could be linked to cashgate based on his relationship with Caroline.
    It is telible how one could fail to understand that lovers could connive in criminal activities.
    The question must be: can it be proved that they were/are in a relationship? Well that is easy to prove. Simply get a search warrant for his call logs with contents to analyse his messages to Carline.
    My guess is Roy has been exposed of his dealings with the lady.
    Had he not reacted the way he did, his marriage would have been in peril. He must have been under pressure from the wife.

    1. Timonthy says:

      No man. If you are in the forensics, then no wonder Malawi is going to the dogs. Tenthani is rubishing the report on the bare premise that it is not saying anything else on pointing that the accused really influenced Banda for anything. If you are gullible enough to be manipulated by your girlfriend, dont expect all men to be like you.

  21. mai nsato says:

    Malawians need to think very deep here. PP led govt sacrificed Kasambaras why?? They had agreed to shame Kasambara knowing fully well the Tonga lawyer boy will tear govt apart and discredit everything. Then govt will lose and JB and all involved will walk free and be compensated huge billions of cashgate compensations.

    What needs to be done here is!!! Bring Kasambara , JB, Lutepo and Manondo in the same court to face Mphwiyo. Everything will be fine. Govt will win. after all Mphwiyo’s ugly face was remoulded so can thank govt for doing justice on him.

  22. mtondo says:

    even this article has been written for entertaininf purporses than anything beyond that.you wantd a report nd is out! its not DEMOCRATIC PROGRESSIVE but baker tilly of UK whch conducted the audit…ungofuna kutitethets mutu iwe RAPHAEL TENTHANI ! we cant buy your cheap opinion…u r stupid

  23. Justice denied says:

    I’m not a lawyer but you don’t need to be one to see how defense lawyers are going to tear this apart and make the government bleed. Tiyeni nazo!!!!

  24. Jimmy says:

    All i can see is playing with Malawians thats all,hey wakeup Malawi its not that time of Nyasaland its democracy now see what other contries r doing when they dont see accountability in their chosen Government????

  25. Malawian comedy says:

    Now Baker Tilly wants us to be asking for CVs from our girlfriends, just in case they have ever dipped their hands in cookie jars. We dont wana be guilty by association. I just hope the ACB was not solely relying on Baker Tilly when they were doing all those crazy arrests, or we will have an empty treasury with compansation payments.

  26. Jimmy says:

    The Attorney general is not specific as to where the report is going.

  27. Jimmy says:

    The report is premature as i can see

  28. Mbanangwa says:

    It is very difficult from now on to trust the Attorney General and the Minister of Justice. Private practicing lawyers are salivating at how they will make the government dance and loose the cases. The base and foundations or premises upon which the government are basing their arguments are very shaky if not rotten to hold substance now.

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