Activist Kondowe says Kachale’s cashgate statement lacks detail

One of Malawi’s civil rights campaigners Benedicto Kondowe has faulted a statement which Vice president Khumbo Kachale delivered on Momday in Parliament on cashgate scandal saying it lacks tangible detail which Malawians were supposed to get from government on the scandal.

Kachale delivered the statement during the opening of parliament which hinged on the progress on the ongoing investigation and actions the government is taking on every information examination from investigations.

The vice president told the august House that the investigations conducted so far have found massive looting of public finances dating back to 2006 largely through loopholes in a central payment system known as Integrated Financial Management Information System  that Malawi government has been using since 2005.

“The reviews made so far of the system have revealed that huge sums of money have indeed siphoned out of government accounts, using private companies and individuals with no contracts with government for provision of goods, service or work,” he said.

Kondowe: No details
Kondowe: No details

The vice president said government has engaged law enforcement agencies like the Auditor General, the Anti-Corruption Bureau and Malawi Police Service to arrest all the alleged perpetrators of the scams.

He said long- and short-term measures have been put in place to prevent further corruption, including forensic audits of all government departments and the reassignment of officials whose ministries are being investigated.

Kachale said the measures taken have enabled the government to recover data that was deleted following the fraudulent transactions.

“The recovered data tell the person, amount and the beneficiaries involved in the facilitation of all these transactions. I am pleased to tell this august house that this information has been passed on to law enforcement agencies for further analysis and appropriate action,” he said amid applause from government benches.

He reiterated that eight people – six civil servants and two business persons so far been arrested and charged in court.

Reacting to the statement, Kondowe said the government statement fell short of detailed information required of government.

“The statement contains same old issues as have been reported in the media.  It didn’t give out information in terms of how much resources are reported to have been siphoned out of government. Much as we know that the investigations are going on but these are kind of details that have to be disclosed so that Malawians appreciate what the government is doing on the matter,” he said.

Kondowe also said Kachale was mean with truth when he said that controlling officers linked to the ministries connected to the scandal have been moved or are being move saying most of the controlling officers in such ministries are seen working in their respective offices.

“If you carefully examine the concerned ministries you could notice that none of them has been moved in terms of controlling officers or indeed if they are in the process of been moved. So this kind of contradictions are sending a very bad signal about the current administration and that’s why perhaps Malawians are worried that the ongoing investigations may not bring anything tangible on the ground”

He therefore appealed to remembers of parliament to quiz the government for more information on the matter.

“I think members of parliament when making questions on the matter they should ask government to indicate to Malawians how much resources have been established to have been siphoned out of government up to now. I think that information will be very important”.

On the controlling officers Kondowe said it is a very important issue because unless the government acts on Chief Controlling Officers “we are bound to have a scenario where these people will interfere with the audit and by the end of the day we will find data that are not credible enough.”

Members of parliament are expected to respond to the vice president’s address on Tuesday during which they will also get a chance to ask Kachale about his alleged “involvement in the scandal” as was said by the leader in parliament for the opposition Democratic Progressive Party, George Chaponda.

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