US funds for fighting Aids in Malawi ‘Cashgated’: America demand pay back

National Audit Office (NAO) audit has revealed that donor money amounting to K925, 918, 030.14 were looted  from the health ministry’s finance, human resources and HIV and AIDS department.

Minister of Health, Peter Kumpalume: Stolen HIV/AIDS funds in his ministry

Minister of Health, Peter Kumpalume: Stolen HIV/AIDS funds in his ministry

The auditors pounced at the Department following request by the American Ambassador Virginia Palmer who had suspected that some dishonest employees were abusing the  funds   to spearhead a national response to HIV/Aids, a pandemic which has wiped out an entire generation of adults in Malawi and left over a million children orphaned.

The figures have been under tight lid since the embarrassing scandal as Health Minister Peter Kumpalume said the stolen money ran into “millions.”

But Nyasa Times can now confirm about the figures which  intial findings on the looting indicated that money amounted to K2.5 billion it has been reduced to   K925, 918, 030.14.

Auditor General Steven Kamphasa said his office cannot comment on anything on the matter since his office has already submitted the findings to the Ministry of Health.

US-funded Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) had written the ministry to complain that they suspected civil servants from the HIV and AIDS project were defrauding the government.

US ambassador to Malawi, Virginia Palmer, is onrecord saying that that she hoped the authorities “will identify those responsible and that they will be held fully accountable for the misuse of funds intended to improve the health of Malawian citizens.”

Principal Secretary in the Ministry of Health Dr Macphail Magwira said Malawi government will  have to pay back the money and deal with the culprits.

“We will not treat this issue with kid groves, we want to make sure that all those who were involved in such malpractice are brought to book using while using Section 39 of Public employment act,” said Magwira.

Malawi government suspended 63 seniors officials in the health ministry  to allow auditors to investigate and audit the accounts.

Those who were suspended  included the Director of human resource, the Director of finance and two chief accountants to pave way for a thorough audit investigation over unjustified withdrawal of
allowances and fuel abuse.

Malawi, which depends on foreign aid for about 40 percent of its national budget, has suffered after donors withheld funding over a large-scale corruption scandal

Prosecutors have in the past said one third of Malawi’s government revenue is lost through fraud.

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19 thoughts on “US funds for fighting Aids in Malawi ‘Cashgated’: America demand pay back”

  1. Emeneka says:

    The report is not clear. The figures keep changing because NAO doesnt understand what they are doing. I have two copies of the report and they are both badly done. If Govt was sure fraud had taken place why transfer Maganga to Accountant General? What was this money intended for. I suggest NAO should put the report on their website for everybody to read. Kodi ACCA ndichonchi? Dr Magwira just rushing kuti we will deal with them. When are you going to deal with them those people are still working and being posted to various other govt institutions. The laws are clear just apply them period. I believe a PS should deal with strategic issues not routine matters.

    The Minister must also be helped so that he doesnt look foolish. He says the Ministry is waiting for the Health service commission to advise. ZOONA? Some staff belong to common services how then does the commission come in. Interdictions have nothing to do with commissions chonde tisayiwononge civil service it is a well structured organisation.

    1. Kumpalume says:

      Haha, old story these guys are already back at work!!

  2. Mwananyanian says:

    Just depressing! I need a dose of serotonin, abale (ladies and gentlemen)
    It is probably now safe to assume that theft of money and property is a daily occurrence in all departments of the government. And probably sophisticated in as much as it is perpetrated by employees with access to computer programs, mainly.
    But, let us not kid ourselves: this has been going on since Kamuzu! The culture is so entrenched in the civil service it could take a generation to reduce it even by half. Poor country, poor Malawians are the ones paying the price always.
    If most Malawians were educated, really educated, there is no way corruption would be tolerated to this degree. Workers in the next cubicle or even office, and even next door neighbors, would not be so tolerant. And society, in general, would even rise up, civilly, against the ruling class. Like yesterday.
    APM, as president now, has to show his mettle in fighting this “evil”. He has said fighting corruption is a big deal for him, during his tenure.. And he should, partly be judged by the metrics in this area.
    Asa.

    1. kanchenga says:

      Apparently you seem to suggest that corruption started with Kamuzu just because the misfortune is entrenched in our society. This accession is unfair and unfortunate. As a nation we need to accept that under democracy we have failed to manage our affairs. We elect leaders based on regional segregation. In many democracies leaders are analysed critically so that the voter will know the type of candidate they have. In Malawi voters don’t use that information to make a decision. In all cases we new the behaviour of the leaders before we voted them in office but we ignored that. Muluzi was jailed for abuse of public funds while working as court clerk. He was fired as Secretary General MCP for similar offence. With this information available to us we still voted for him. We knew about Bingus dictatorial tendencies from dossiers from COMESA but we voted for him. We knew about Peter’s incapacities from the university saga. It is a question of choices and wrong choices. We choose regionalism instead of merit. Noise instead of calmness. Self enrichment instead of service. Our leaders break our integrity with money. Our pride has been chained by the devil. We keep blaming previous leaders for to days problems. We are a sick nation. Kamuzu emphasised on quality we opted for quantity. Those days Ministers worked for many years and remained poor. To day a man becomes rich immediately after being appointed minister. Kamuzu built a strong and reliable civil service we broke it down with political and tribal appointments. Just compare the infrastructure that Kamuzu left behind with the the ones we are putting up these days. Check the Bingu conference centre in LL carefully. You will see what I mean. But offcourse you could be benefiting from this chaos so you blame it on Kamuzu for the sins of you gods as a self preservation.

      1. NIB man with a D says:

        Another big fisi in cabinet should be Kumpalume. I am beginning to wonder why is it only wadada Gondwe who is being fingered and not this man.

        Kanchenga you have my thumb’s up for your intelligent analysis of Malawi’s state of chaosity.

    2. Chigwaja says:

      How on earth would you expect a thief to fight corruption. Remember his brother used to call it Kusolola when he had just been elected. When he started stealing the vocabulary was no where to be herd. APM is now clinging to the power of appointing the ACB boss so that he chooses his own bootlickers the graft bursting body and make them afraid to talk anything about corruption. So I am saying our politicians go into politics to establish safe platforms for theft.

  3. CONCERNED CITIZEN says:

    It is in the news every day that civil servants and polIticians are defrauding the government. Zafika pomvetsa chisoni kuti mmboma mwalowa nankafubwe wakubedwa kwandalama . Solution, once proved dismiss. Transferring is not the solution.What does the civil service act say about a civil servant who steals from the employer? Dismiss dismiss dismiss and confiscate property obviously acquired by means beyond their income. Remember, during Kamuzu”s time even if you stole Mk 2.50 the law would take its course.The government should take this issue seriously by implementing the civil service regulations.Stealing by servant is dismiss-able.As long as the rules are not being implemented this shall never stop. Malawians are suffering on the hands of few who are selfish. You can not say Government will look for money to repay when those who stole the money are there and are known.Those who stole, go scote free and only transferred to continue stealing where ever they are posted.

  4. Oswiri says:

    “a pandemic which has wiped out an entire generation of adults in Malawi”????? WHAT AN EXAGGERATION!!!!!!

    1. Nyau says:

      Mukutsutsa nkulu kuti wanthu anatha ndi aids ku Malawi.

  5. Bambo says:

    Inu nanu a nyasatimes please investigate zinthunzi bwino bwino before you you report sometimes you create false alarms to donors with your foolish write ups

  6. kwenda says:

    transfer all staff at HIV who were interdicted because they still doing the same thing with world bank fund through vmmc.mufuna kenena kuti ma messenger ndiye amene amaba chifukwa its only messengers and directors amene anawapangidwa ma transfers

    1. Khima says:

      Why do we use transfer as means of dealing with theft n fraud in the government???

      1. Chigwaja says:

        Private sector fires thieves while govt transfers them.

  7. vyakusi says:

    Kuba too much makamaka ku assembly.

  8. be humane says:

    MCP Woyeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee. Timanga onsewa ife a MCP tayambira Kasambara. Anzake onse amutsatira. KWachaaaaaa

  9. Udzamkoleka says:

    Easier said than done.The same culprits if they are interdicted,they go just like on holiday and later re introduce in the system.Why not completely suck them off?You know what,if they come back they resort to the same fraudulent acts because it is in their blood believe me.

  10. zambiachabe says:

    malawi is a god fearing nation and all this will be fixed if we all go and pray on sunday

    1. chephiri says:

      the matrix has started: god ? sunday? is this deliberate move to maneuver policies..God forbid!

    2. Chigwaja says:

      Theft does not require prayers but decisive action from authorities. The challenge is we have authorities that are thieves themselves. So who is fooling who? We all know who to fire to end this spate of theft, the root cause.

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