We’ll dig deeper for evidence, says ACB czar

Financial crimes expert Lucas Kondowe who was recently appointed by President Peter Mutharika as Director General of the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) has said the graft-busting body will dip for objective material evidence to be used for prosecution in the cashgate trials, saying the external forensic audit will be complimentary.

Kondowe: We will follow evidence

Kondowe: We will follow evidence

Kondowe said on Friday that the bureau will dig on incriminating evidence and not rely much on the audit report by London-based Baker Tilly Ltd.. saying there is huge amount of information to look into.

“The audit report will just be part of the input,” said Kondowe.

Asked on local radio if ACB will arrest people based on names revealed in the cashgate report, Kondowe said: “The names can be in the report but to us that means nothing, we will follow the evidence.”

Minister of Justice and Constitutional Affairs Samuel Tembenu released the comprehensive report to the media on Thursday.

The report contains a list of 49 individuals who between them had a hand in siphoning almost K24.2 billion of public funds.

Tembenu hinted that investigations into ‘cashgate’ were still on-going and several other suspects may come out in due course.

The Baker Tilly report describes the scale of the theft and how it operated. Drawing on a sample of 501 suspicious transactions between April and September, the auditors found that a total 104 government of Malawi cheques, totalling K 6.9 billion were paid to 39 different companies when they had not supplied any services to government the majority of which were deleted from the system.

Payments with no further documents accounted for a further 4 billion kwacha. The bean-counters also found that supply contracts had been inflated by 3.6 billion kwacha. All told, the state was defrauded of around $32m, almost 1% of Malawi’s annual GDP, in just six months.

A central element to the fraud was the manipulation of a government software system that was supposed to help control spending. In a typical cashgate transaction, the accounts of the tourism ministry or the cabinet office were hacked into.

The hackers found a budget allocation, say for paper clips, and generated bogus payment orders until the allowance was exhausted. A cheque was then raised and paid into the bank account of a dormant company used solely for money laundering. Money was cashed and the transaction was then erased from the accounts so the fraud could be repeated.

No one checked whether any goods had been delivered. Baker Tilly found that basic filing was not applied. Cheques were left in printers overnight and made out in corridors rather than secure offices.

Payment orders for large sums were honoured by the central bank even if they had only two of the three required signatures. In one instance high-value cheques with consecutive serial numbers for exact sums were cashed on the same day. The theft went unchecked in part because a reconciliation of bank payments by the accountant-general’s office had not been made for over a year.

Speaking during the news conference to release the report, Tembenu who was flanked by Minister of Information Kondwani Nankhumwa and deputy Auditor General Langton Gomani, stressed that the report was not an indictment of anybody but investigations into how government lost billions.

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25 thoughts on “We’ll dig deeper for evidence, says ACB czar”

  1. Atcheya says:

    I agree with number 22, Zobanduka. Really how will he deal with his former employer as regards the cases at hand? It complicates the case further as it will involve him answer some questions related to financial questions as, he, himself was part of risk control of the bank. You are confusing me!

  2. KUKHALA says:

    BWANA AG HOPE YOU WANA FOLLOW THE FUNDAMENTAL PRINCIPLES : INTERGRITY,OBJECTIVEY, PROFESSIONAL COMPETENCE & DUE CARE, PROFESSIONAL BEHIOUR & CONFIDENTIALITY. MIND YOU SHOULD YOU NOT THEN OOOOH RISKING YOUR REPUTATION. ONE OF MAY NO MORE FUTURE JOBS OPPORTUNITIES LOCALLY & EVEN ABROAD,

  3. Quota system says:

    The only problem with these state instruments like ACB is politicization of cases. The ruling class loot with impunity. Only the poor face the music.

  4. Zobanduka says:

    The bank that you are coming from (FMB) was a safe heaven for cashgaters to keep their loot in all sorts of currencies by providing them with private deposit boxes…… What are you going to do about it since you were there as well and you were aware of this happening at FMB???? Huh????

  5. Zagwa says:

    Bwana DG, I have hope that you are capable. Please add an incentive to your “tip-offs anonymous” line as is the case with MRA. Citizens see and know a lot of wrong-doing but the motivation to report is not always there.

  6. Gogo Pitala says:

    Who from the government side authorized such huge payments? Who were the authorizing personnel?

  7. M'doko says:

    What about 92billion kwacha names

  8. Papa Chalo says:

    Mmmmmh, My fellow Malawians tivomeleze kuti we are still sleepy. Laws, Courts, Police and ACB are for Management the poor and common/voiceless people.

    Haven’t we seen people being above the law? Haven’t we seen an individual involved in CashGate yet allowed to contest for MP? Haven’ we seen fire damaging property and the authorities forming inquiry committees to blind folder poor Malawians? Can’t we see the zero Aid budget being cushioned (make it comfortable) by this race which is on campaign winning African countries? Tionanso ikudzakhala a super power in the world. Don’t we know ACB is the most corrup organization in the country? The list goes on. Cashgate ithera mu appeasement policy mommemo

  9. big thought says:

    It is indeed important to dig deeper so that the source of theft should be known.The report will also be compared to that of Baker Tilly to see if indeed some important names have been left out knowingly which the general public is interested to know who took and ate their tax money.

  10. drogba says:

    Be committed, bring this mone back! Spare nobody, and do not fear or spare the big guys! By the way, what about the 1.4 bilion from Bakili?
    With our deficit budget,we need it all desperate! my only worry is: That your office will be as useless it was, influenced by politics.., resulting in another …-gate were money is going down the drain? !

  11. Kika kanawe says:

    I doubt this guy’s pronouncement because he appointed by a corrupt which is involved in so many corrupt practices,cashgate,votegate,housegate and many vices.

  12. mwaonatu vuto lathu amalawi, timaweruzilatu tisanazenge mulanduwo. Lero report laipa poti amene timadana nawowo mulibe, zomwe angatuluse lucasyo sizikhala zoona because he will work to please his master for sure, and any mudsmearing that will come out tizakhulupilirano?Baker Tilly is independent and ACB has never been independent since its creation you know that, it has worked to please the master, it will not be a surprise to see more targeted pipo being arrested. Kaya tiziziona………..

  13. christian says:

    Follow evidence not names that’s all what we need,the audity is not what we are interested at.

  14. UNDERWEAR says:

    How could someone receive 1 billion,100million,50million from unknown source?Money source should be justified by real and clean source.If Mphwiyo has business and can pay 18,000,000 cash then follow up with MRA if he is registered .This is how Burundians and Taifas get rich fast In MALAWI by selling local made goods within, which are faked as if are being exported and before us they look as they are best business people, yet the rob us.

  15. Nixy says:

    Go deeper Lucas. Leave no stone unturned. And follow those numerous accounts officers/assistants who have stolen from the government for a long time and amassed personal wealth beyond their capacity. We can provide names in good faith.

  16. Patriot says:

    Deeper means he will find dirty transactions from 2009-2011 as well, especially with this mlomwe mphwiyo.
    Or Malawi should expect payments of a lot of million of Kwacha’s into compensation.

  17. loveness says:

    the general public is giving enough evidence and tips through the comments made if you read all you will have all the evidence you require. also ask the general public to give you tips but again how much can the public trust this body as all in power are corrupt.

  18. CHUMACHANGEREZI says:

    bola “dig deeper” ameneyu achitike mwachangu because malawians are still pregnant for the punishment which is going to be given to these culprits

  19. bakili wakuba says:

    MOST OF THESE ARE PURE THEFT CASES

    IT SEEMS TO ME THAT ACB IS USURPING THE DUTIES OF THE POLICE

    LIKE NAMATHAMANGA CASE – IT SIMPLY THEFT NO CORRUPTION

    PLEASE ACB – CONCENTRATE ON CORRUPTION

  20. mopia says:

    Going deeper or not is not important. what is important is that you should tell us the truth what happened to our money. If the truth is not coming forthwith, I tell I will not pay taxes. If anyone dares to stand on my way, I cut his/her head as ISIl is doing. We need our money now. This money was meant to serve our dying mothers, sisters, brothers and fathers. If courts, ABC and Malawi Police Force have no answer, leave the job in hands of Nyasa-Mungiki to pacify the situation and bring sanity in the country. We want everyone to enjoy life in its fullness basitu!

  21. Mob Justice basi says:

    What more evidence, this is time wasting! The same evidence got Sithole and Sensani convicted, and you want to spend more tax payer money looking for evidence. I knew all along APM hired you to hoodwink Malawians. Mxxxiiii

  22. Phwitiko says:

    Don’t be naive here. These twists & turns in JB cashgate are deliberate attempt by the ruling elite to protect each other since DPP also has a 92 billion cashgate. The confusion therefore is intended to prepare Malawians for the coming audit report on 92 billion which will contain DPP names. Mark my words.

  23. bk says:

    Who else can do a better audit in Malawi? I wonder of Kondowe can dig deeper when the 92 billion audit comes out. Malawians why being fooled every time, everything Peter does or everyone he appoints, there big reasons why,’these people are royal to him. You will commenting foolishly again here. Do you think Phwiyo can be happy to be sent to prison, if he did a dirty work, he knows he will go, but see the way things are now, he doesn’t get worried. Jack-up malawians.

  24. nyolokan says:

    In the western world..they say “follow the money” which essentially means to trace the source of the money, its origination and how it was used. Mr Kondowe’s resume’ bolds well to go deeper to find these ‘money looters’. Obviously Joyce Banda and her cohorts would not be so stupid to leave their footpaths in their dirty dealings..Muluzi taught them how to steal without a trace……and so yes go deeper Lucas

  25. melvin nzeluzanga says:

    Nkhanitu koma imeneyi…go deeper man of transparency! as a state we cant rely on Baker tilly the man LUCAS is talking now. tisupulana chaka chake ndi chino 2014

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