The US government says it is still immature to make a conclusive remark on whether the government is making any progress on how it is dealing with the cash scandal.
The new American Ambassador to Malawi, Virginia Palmer told reporters during a cocktail in Blantyre on Thursday that the US government is currently still watching.
“I think we are still watching. We are seeing some convictions and I would like to see more,” she said.
Palmer said she would like to see even more senior convictions “if senior people were involved.”
“Yes there should be convictions of senior officials because if only small officials are prosecuted and senior people act with impunity then there is no justice to people of Malawi,” she said.
These ongoing Cashgate prosecutions has seen more than six people mostly junior officers convicted while cases of senior people including Chief suspect, Oswald Lutepo, former Justice Minister Ralph Kasambara and former Budget Director Paul Mphwiyo are moving at a snails pace.
Recently, Lutepo confessed through the media his wrong doing in cashgate .
Lutepo is currently answering charges of theft and money laundering of about $6.8 million out of the total of $32million which was looted from government coffers between April and September last year.
He said his Bank account was just used as a conduit for stolen money from government coffers mainly to funding then ruling People’s Party election campaigns.
There has also been pressure for government to act on the DPP-era K92 billion cashgate.
But Justice and Constitutional Affairs Minister, Samuel Tembenu, told parliament that there is “no really such thing as K92 billion cashgate”; backing Auditor General (AG) Stephenson Kamphasa that it was merely an “audit query”.
The AG explained that the K92 billion Cashgate “ remains an audit query requiring further investigation in order to substantiate the transactions validity.”
As part of the Bingu wa Mutharika-era Cashgate, the National Audit Office (NAO) named 54 firms that received about K6.3 billion in suspicious payments from the Malawi Police Service (MPS).
Some of the notable transactions whose value for money NAO could not ascertain include 17 payments to an electrical firm amounting to K1.8 billion; nine payments to another company worth about K1.2 billion; two payments of K150 million to a security equipment supplier; six payments of K123 million to a pharmaceutical firm belonging to a well-known Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) sympathiser and financier.
An analysis of the company names shows that most of the firms appearing in the Mutharika-era audit report are also featuring in the Cashgate investigations conducted since September 2013.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :