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:

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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mwachaje
Guest

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.

Kodi mmene A MEC ANKAKACHITANSO PRINT MA BALLOT PAPER CHAKA CHATHA CHIFUKWA ANAOTCHEDWA INU MUNALI KUTI? MUNALI KUNJA KU ACADEMIC CONFERENCE kapena ku consultancy ETI?
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.

Mbwindi
Guest

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

Mnyamata wa nzeru
Guest

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!!

Agnes banda
Guest

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

Maggie Chiumya
Guest

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?

Asante sana
Guest

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

peter
Guest

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

vegetable vendor
Guest

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

rosemary.
Guest

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

Maureen Longwe
Guest
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.
Andrew K
Guest

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

peter
Guest

Mangani was not ST then!!!!

end times
Guest

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

wpDiscuz

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