Treasury gives ACB leeway to probe Malawi Electoral Commission ‘cashgate’

Anti Corruption Bureau (ACB) has been given a green light by Treasury to probe Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) after a special investigative audit of MEC has been declared conclusive that found that there was gross financial mismanagement and flouting of procurement and recruitment procedures under the leadership of chief elections officer Willie Kalonga between July 2012 and December 2014.


Mangani: Worrisome violations

Secretary to the Treasury Ronald Mangani observed that his office has “carefully considered” findings of the final audit which exposed “worrisome violations” of the Public Finance Management Act [PFMA] 2003.

In a summary of the findings of the audit – conducted by the Central Internal Audit Unit under the Ministry of Finance -, it is reported that the commission’s management, among others, authorised bank transfers worth K118 667 404. 44 ($208 188) to unknown bank accounts, invested K398 040 000 ($698 316) without commissioners’ written approval and paid out external travel allowances to commissioners and senior officers amounting to K15 422 756 ($27057) for a trip allegedly not undertaken.

Mangani has asked the electoral body to take appropriate disciplinary measures in dealing with officials involved in violation of the Public Finance Management Act.

He has also furnished with ACB the final audit for their action.

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.

MEC spokesperson Sangwani Mwafuliwa is on record saying the allegations of financial abuse has “greatly damaged the image of the commission as a public body that can be trusted to manage its purse prudently.”

Mwafulirwa, however, said MEC is committed to reforms in its financial management systems that will ensure prudence.

“On corporate governance, the commission established a fully-fledged internal audit department and also an internal audit committee. The commission has also guided that apart from the periodic audits by the National Audit Office, its account books will also be audited by private auditors.

“These steps are being taken to demonstrate that its commitment to ensure that any government penny is used for its intended purpose,” MCP spokesman recently told Weekend Nation.

Mwafuliwa had said MEC will not go to the public and defend material detail, but will wait for the final audit report.

“Should the final audit report substantiate irregularities, the commission is committed to taking an appropriate action,” he said.

Mid last month, MEC sacrificed director of finance Khumbo Phiri, who was sent on forced leave in the wake of an investigative audit.

Phiri expressed “surprise” 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.”

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29 thoughts on “Treasury gives ACB leeway to probe Malawi Electoral Commission ‘cashgate’”

  1. mwachaje says:

    Shaa,a ST iyi ndi voodoo audit. Kukana kumva ma explanations a MEC management CHIFUKWA mwachita kale conclude kuti anthu aba.
    Muidziwa due process ya PUBLIC SERVICE. NDI M’BOMAtu umu si ku academic freedom.

    Lero ndiye mudziti at ankachita procure w/out following bla bla bla!

    Decision making ya nkalasitu imeneyo. In the real practical world people have to make decisions pompo pompo.

  2. Mbwindi says:

    You don’t work guys &you are not worth to be paid.Now you are embezzling funds.You must all get arrested.

  3. Mnyamata wa nzeru says:

    The problem with ACB is lack of operational independence!!! Too much government sponsored witch hunting!!! However, this does not vindicate MEC and its thieving commissioners!! If they are proven guilty, make them pay!!

  4. Agnes banda says:

    Hitler had Gobbles who run his propaganda. Willie kalonga and mbendera have sangwani to spin for them. I hope you will be rewarded fully. Koma the spinning ndi kupemphera zigwilizana? Wish you well young man

  5. Maggie Chiumya says:

    The Audit looks suspicious. The scandals are about finances in MEC and yet the Director of Finance is not mentioned atall !!! Who were the auditors who conducted the exercise? Do they have the necessary experience and qualifications? I doubt their credentials. Sangwani says the auditors refused to incorporate managements comments and instead wrote their own!! Is this audit or witchcraft at Capital Hill? Is Mangani serious to accept that from his junior clerks?

  6. Asante sana says:

    A Nyasa mwangomukhumba Willy. You mean the whole ACB being given orders to probe an institution? Mwayamba ndale a ACB? You will be fought by invisible hands you people. Mukulimbana ndi Munthu osalakwa. Mukanthidwa ndithu

    1. peter says:

      Are you sure Willy is an innocent man? What about all the filth that surround him about his conduct during and after elections?

  7. Sangwani sometimes I like your stubbornness. How can you challenge the whole govtt department of treasury as thin ad you are? Ka munthu kochepa thupi koma makani

  8. rosemary. says:

    Sangwani I feel for you during elections you were the only face that could be seen all of them were in hiding. This time around they are hiding again and you are busy protecting them. Unadya no you are young don’t spoil your name and career move out

  9. Maureen Longwe says:

    How clean are Mangani’s hands in the MEC affairs? We are told by Nyasatimes that Kalonga operates a secret bank account at MSB. This account is funded by Mangani himself as ST which implies that he too has a stake in the MEC cashgate . Mangani should be the first to be probed for allowing Kalonga to operate the secret account. The Accountant General, the Auditor General and the Director of Audit at MEC all had a stake in the secret account. Otherwise Kalonga would not have continued to maintain the account if they had raised the issue.

    1. peter says:

      Mangani was not ST then!!!!

    2. Andrew K says:

      You r a misguided crap my friend. In ur silly cmnt,have u considered the time under probe?

  10. end times says:

    kodi leeway imeneyi, ku army mubwera liti? Ife ma million athu sakutipatsa za mission allowances.

  11. Neema says:

    what if MEC and Government come up with non-refundable fee. for contestants. No refunds should be made to people who have participated in Elections. The refunds also creates room from for a type of cash gate on its own. This is the time to start putting some changes before 2019. Make hay while the sun shines

  12. Christabel Chiuta says:

    This should be awake up call for just ended polls 2014 audit too. How can we trust them if they are corrupt this way

  13. DZIKANYANGA says:

    Wille amawoneka ngati shasha mmamowamu ameneyo tsekelani ndithu.

  14. vitumbiko mwakipuyi says:

    nde ife titani pakuti nonse ndinu akuba in one way or another….

  15. Pachilambo Usauchi says:

    Associate Professor Ronald Mangani, bring sanity in the system. Way to Go !

  16. Kulibe kantu says:

    Please do not give orders to ACB to investigate. They should be investigating the issues on their own not giving them orders. That is why people accuse the ACB of selective justice.

  17. pel says:

    The government is organised by criminals but time is quickly coming when real men and women will take charge of destinies of many generations and these boys and girls who are busy messing the destinies will have no space to steal!!

  18. chilipaine says:

    And why on earth does the ACB need some kind of permission from anybody to probe any public misconduct? Are they not governed by the same laws…or were they afraid of the Flag?

  19. Njolinjo says:

    Sangwani Mwafulirwa you behave like a Politian who sees black as white. You are now in murky waters kaya utulukamo bwanji? Only God knows.

  20. Shards says:

    The Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman received the Director General of International Monetary Fund Christine Lagarde at Al-Yamamah Palace on Monday.
    During the meeting, they discussed aspects of cooperation between the Kingdom and the International Monetary Fund, international economic developments, and a number of issues of common interest.
    The audience was attended by Minister of State and Cabinet’s Member Dr. Musaed bin Mohammed Al-Aiban; Minister of Finance Dr. Ibrahim bin Abdulaziz Al-Assaf; Minister of Culture and Information Dr. Adel bin Zaid Altoraifi; Minister of Foreign Affairs Adel bin Ahmed Al-Jubeir; the Governor of Saudi Arabian Monetary Agency Dr. Fahd bin Abdullah Al-Mubarak; and the Kingdom’s Executive Director to the International Monetary Fund Fahd bin Ibrahim Al-Shathri .

  21. Whistle Blower says:

    Treasury is the department of government. ACB and Electoral commission are directly controlled by APM. APM ndi mwini filimu monsemu.

    APM anadaba mavoti through Electoral Commission. ACB inapanga chiani!!


  22. chilipaine says:

    Now…that is a President who really wants to rid our nation of this scourge called corruption. I may not be DPP, but give credit where it is due. Mutharika seems to have the balls to run after those who steal with impunity. If a vote came tomorrow, I would most definitely vote for Mutharika. You are a man of the moment Mr. President. You do not behave like the District Chairmen who masqueraded as Presidents since 1994, your brother inclusive…keep it up Mr President…you have a potential vote from me!

  23. Rodgers Banda says:

    There is nothing pure in EC ship From pilots to the last crew. The electoral conduction should consist of at least 40 saints not 100 corrupt money mongers like we have. That’s why our government is economically running nose down. Federal government is the only way to alleviate cashgate coz each govt will be fighting for perfection against another

  24. Mapwevupwevu says:

    How can such huge sums of money go missing from the accounts of MEC and the Director of Finance gets no mention in the audit report?????? Very fishy!

    Ku MEC kuli anthu akuba okhaokha especially Khumbo Phiri, Willie Kalonga (brother to cashgater Lenard Kalonga), Nancy Tembo ndi Judge analira ndi chisankho uja ndamuiwala dzina lache!

  25. Zuze says:

    Kodi mumati Cashgate muzingopanga ku Capital Hill. Nawonso ndi anthu.

  26. mtate mike rsa says:

    ACB itself must be probed too why every investigation endup nowhere you cannot be trusted.

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