Unprocedural disbursement of funds at Malawi Embassy in Berlin

Allegations of fraud at Malawi Embassies abroad are embarrassingly tarnishing the image of the DPP-led government of President Professor Arthur Peter Mutharika.dali docdali document 2Dali document

Shumba: Malawi to engange Mozambique into serious talks

Shumba: Kabambe acted within the law

While the issues about fraud at the Malawi Mission in Addis Ababa and other missions have not been fully resolved, the very controlling officer of the line Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Corporation, Dalitso Kabambe, is ‘caught in the act’ authorizing illegal and unprocedural disbursement of funds at the Malawi Embassy in Berlin.

In two separate memos dated May 27 and May 31, 2016, the PS instructs the Malawi envoy to Berlin to use close to K13.5 million from the ‘Deposit Account’ for purposes that would have been funded by the Ministry directly or through the Treasury.

In the first memo, the PS is instructs the Malawi Mission in Berlin to pay for external travel and telephone allowances and the upgrading of air tickets for himself and Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Minister, Francis Kasaila. It is not indicated where the two officials are travelling to and for what reason. Other officers involved are Suzgo Mandala and Loyce Merrick.

According to a Treasury official who opted for anonymity, the money that the PS authorized the Berlin Mission to spend is revenue that the Mission collects through various ways, including Visa fees. This money is meant for Account No.1, which can only be drawn with Treasury’s nod.

“The PS obviously flouted procedures by dipping his fingers into that account. Is the Ministry now funding itself without the approval of Treasury and Parliament? How much money has been abused or will continue to be abused since the Embassy keeps a lot of money considering the huge number of countries it is accredited to, which means high levels of revenue,” the official wondered.

Apart from Germany, the Berlin Embassy is also accredited, on a non-residential basis, to Armenia, Azerbaijan, Austria, Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Croatia, Estonia, Georgia, Greece, The Holy See, Hungary, Kosovo, Latvia, Lithuania, Macedonia, Poland, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Montenegro, Slovak Republic, Slovenia, Turkey and Ukraine.

According to sources at the Embassy in Berlin, that Mission keeps tens of thousands of US Dollars in the Deposit Account because nationals from all these countries wishing to travel to Malawi have to obtain Visas from the Mission in Berlin.

Government could do better if it used this money to buy drugs for hospitals and improve service delivery rather than just paying air tickets and allowances for the Minister, the PS and a few Ministry officials, according to the Treasury official.

What has raised more eyebrows is the authorization in one of the letters that the Berlin Mission must pay for air tickets through a Rwanda-based travel agent in account at Bank De Kigali in Rwanda.

“Why are they buying tickets in Rwanda and not in Malawi? What’s so special with that travel agent? This smacks of fraud and corruption,” claimed the Treasury official.

Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Corporation spokesperson, Rejoice Shumba, is quoted by The Nation newspaper as saying the PS acted within the law “as under the Budget Law and Appropriations Act, all resources appropriated by Parliament under Vote 260 are under his office’s custody”.

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18 thoughts on “Unprocedural disbursement of funds at Malawi Embassy in Berlin”

  1. Achimphamba Oyera says:

    Prayer and repentance: yes good. But all those without ethics and principles, without Umunthu are empty wishes. The degeneration of Umunthu is reflected in many vices that are best known in Malawi now. The killing of Albinos, the stealing of money in a systemic way; the anger in people. Few Malawians have smiling faces now. Most faces look tired and angry. I see one comment from a person in Germany. He thought Germany and travel would bring Peace and joy. He/she equally is frustrated and angry calling names on the Presidents. That will not help you. The facebook page that you plan to open will only frustrate you because you cannot dictate things on facebook. Always speak the truth with respect and dignity. Kulemera kwavuta a Malawi. CRY OUR BELOVED COUNTRY!

  2. Honeycomb Chidyaudzu says:

    This is a stupid government and if we are not waking up Malawi is going to perish sooner than later. This Mdala we call our president is surely useless.

  3. Mwakipiki says:

    Indeed as Wame said, the people that are making this country poor are the educated we have entrusted with our keys. None of them works in the best interest of this country. I sometimes wonder in the offices seeing big bosses doing nothing but sharing ORT. Look here, the whole PS authorizing payment of airtickets and allowances to himself on the 27th and 31st of the same month!! How can he travel to two different events in such a short time?

    Even this spokesperson seems not to know what she is saying. How can she say Kabambe acted within the law when the money in question is revenue collected by the Embassy and not budgetary allocation. That’s the challenge of having PROs who are interested in saving their jobs than being professional. Tsoka Malawi poti woipayo watsikira konko

  4. Nom de plume says:

    Ministry of Foreign Affairs accountants, transfer a lot of money to embassies during the months April ,may and June to embassies know very well that the missions would not absolvet the funding. Come June, end of fiscal yeat, the missions transfer all balances to the deposit account. Unbelievable amount of rental and school fees. After June conniving becomes the name of the game. The preserve of MoFa big shorts for foreign trips and allowances including presidential entourage expenses in absence of express special funding.

  5. diplomata says:

    According to MG Statues, Financial Procedures and Desk Desk Instructions,any money in deposit accounts belongs to Account No. 1 and can, by LAW , only be withdrawn under the authorization of Secretary to the Treasury and should be part of appropriation authorized by parliament. Embassies have a accumulated a lot of Money in the deposit account mostly being balance carried forward at the end of the fiscal year. i wonder why the budget architecture does not allow Treasury to deduct the Ministry of Foreign Affairs all these amounts from its budget as part of prudent finance management and control measure and allow the Embassy to use the money as part and parcel of their fiscal year funding rather than render these funds for abuse. I do not know how true it is, that foreign governments do not allow the Malawi Missions to repatriate these left o over funds(deposit and Visa respectively) back to Account No I and hence keep accumulating. Imagine , how much money has been and is being abused over the years

    Anyway these are extra funds over and above the budget allocations to MoFa.

  6. Daka says:

    Even simple additions not correct in one of the memos but the dr signed

  7. Melo says:

    Air ticket costing $5,369 from Malawi to Mozambique????? Within the region air tickets are less than $2,000. This must be a serious joke. Government is not serious.

  8. Masozi Mwenifumbo says:

    Unless we all repent as a nation, IN TRUE HEARTFELT-REPENTANCE, and turn back to God, things are still going to become worse!!!!

  9. Mtumbuka says:

    This PRO from Ministry of Foreign Affairs is ignorant of the law. I doubt if she even knows what she is commenting about. The money under discussion here was authorized for payment BEFORE it went to Account No.1 and BEFORE appropriation by Parliament…. Therefore, the money is not part of the funding to the Ministry, hence, she can not claim that it was under Kabambe’s purse.The “BEFORE” is what is under contention here. Madam PRO, requesting for an orientation training on various legal and regulatory frameworks should be one of your tasks come 1st July, 2016!!!

    1. Ignorant says:

      Thats Daliso Kabambe the real archtect of cashgate together with Mwanamvekha. Nobody in government wants to trace what happened in Treasury when this guy was Budget Director. Surprisingly George Mkondiwa says Kabambe is the best PS. Hahaha Mchawa George Kabambe sanakhwime he is being used by the Llomwe mafia. How can a guy with a PhD do such a thing? As for the PRO just forgive her because her qualification is as a fuckmate thats all. Koma to be fair to her less than 8% of civil servants understand the rules and regulations governibg the civil service. We dont need a National School of Government lets just go back to the 80s when SDI was fully funded and every civil servant knew that they would be trained. Failure by the Reform Commission to tap into the knowledge of those who have institutional memory makes reforms a joke.

  10. gunsary says:

    Nde mudziti malawi ilibe ndalama… all these billions where are they coming from? Koma mukuona anthu mmidzimu momwe akukhalira? Pano ambiri ndayamba kusawapatsa ulemu ndazindikila tsopano many are using stolen monies.

  11. Chifundo Hauya says:

    I am living in Germany but this embassy,our embassy is just a name…Berlin Embassy was suppose to have passport machine,so that it can be able to provide passport services like some other countries do,but NO…only talking rubbish.Better close it.
    I think in Malawi, this system of having a president to control everything is bullshit.It is the time to have supreme council consist of 10 elders,who can give order to president…these people should come from all regions and tribes,well educated.They must have power to remove the president if he is not performing his or her job perfect.
    I think if we can adopt this system we will have not problem with tribalism,corruption and so many things which are happening in Malawi.
    What is holding us back…a country we never have war,always peaceful but still we are behind 50 folds to Rwanda….why?…. these stupid presidents.
    I am starting Facebook page where i will need support from all of you who need change…not just change but change for the good of all Malawian not just few.

  12. Racist McTumbukaFace says:

    Eish!

  13. koma Kumeneko says:

    KOMA AKULUAKULU BOMA NDI LAKUBA ILI EISH

  14. Mambala says:

    Why should the ministers and officials be paid in Berlin and not Malawi?

  15. Mambala says:

    This is good investigative journalism. Please keep it up. These corrupt officials MUST be exposed. May I also urge whistle blowers to be sending documentary evidence to newspapers.

  16. Mambala says:

    This is fraud. These guys should be taken to task.

    1. mgoloso says:

      This is the kind of journalism we have been looking for – please seek clarification from the concerned parties so that we get to know their side of the story – otherwise ACB has a lot to do here. Lets hope ACB will see this as an opportunity to prove that they have teeth to bite.

      The problem i can see here is that this information will die naturally – NOBODY will lodge complaint to ACB or any Court of law for legal proceedings. This is typical of Malawians – an example is that which an official is failing to disclose his name as the source of this important information – this is being coward and is the main reason which makes others think that all is mere speculation. We need people who can gather courage and stand for the truth as it always prevails – why seeking anonymity when you know the information you have is gospel truth?.

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