Britain told ‘hands off’ from cashgate: ‘Let Malawians solve our own problem’

Chairperson for the Council for Non-Governmental Organizations in Malawi CONGOMA Voice Mhone has told the British government authorities in Malawi to stop dictating on how Malawi government should handle the issue Cashgate audit report saying it is none of their concern.

Mhone, who is also a leader of a group of CSOs under Grand Coalition  which organized anti-government protests in the commercial capital Blantyre on Friday against  the ills of the President Joyce Banda’s administration, said government authorities sometimes are misled by the advice from donor countries.

“There is no way Britain would say Malawians are not supposed to have access to the full forensic audit report on Cashgate which has names of individuals and companies involved in the scam while the money that were looted were taxpayers money,” Mhone said.

Voice Mhone:  Malawians deserve to know who looted their money
Voice Mhone: Malawians deserve to know who looted their money

Mhone also told the host of the Tiuzeni Zoona Program on Zodiak Broadcasting Station Pilirani Phiri that even the report which Britain is boasting about is of low standards because generally its findings  are not new to Malawians.

“We have our own experienced auditors here in Malawi who would have done a better job if they were given a chance and resources than what has been done by the British forensic audit team. After all the donors already suspended their 40 percent contribution to the budget so what Malawians are crying for is to know who stole their own money which accounts for 60 percent of the national budget,” he said.

Mhone’s outburst is a plus to pressure which Public Accounts Committee of Parliament (PAC) is exerting on Malawi government and the British forensic audit team to release a full audit report containing names of those involved the Cashgate scandal.

This comes after the British audit company Baker Tilly International released the much awaited audit report on Monday without names of individuals and companies involved in the scandal.

The audit firm argued that releasing the names of individuals and companies to the members of the general public would compromise ongoing investigations into the scam.

According to the audit team the full report with names has been sent to Anti-Corruption Bureau, Police and Director of Public Prosecution for action.

British government which sponsored the audit has also advised Malawi government through its High Commissioner against releasing the names of the suspects to the members of the general public.

Malawi’s Finance minister Robert Mkwezalamba also told PAC that the government has also been advised not to disclose the names to the members of the general public.

But PAC say are contemplating to summon the British auditors over the issue.

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