London wants the distribution of British aid to Malawi, one of the poorest countries, to be injected direct to the intended beneficiaries and not through the Government of Malawi’s systems following the cashgate scandal.
The channelling of money to Malawi treasury has since been deemed not yet fit for purpose following the financial malfeasance at Capital Hill.
London is withholding 17 million pounds in budget support.
But addressing a news conference press in the capital, Lilongwe on Monday, British High Commissioner Michael Nevin pointed out that will find alternative channels to ensure that the funds reach the intended beneficiaries.
“Withholding aid is not about punishing Malawi,” explained Nevin.
“We want government to put its house in order by implementing systems that will not allow pilferage of public funds,” he said.
“As most of the funds that we [Britain] give the country are still coming, but it is only budgetary support that we have delayed until government puts its house in order,” he said.
The cashgate scandal came into light after the shooting of Ministry of Finance budget director Paul Mphwiyo in Lilongwe on September 13 2013.
The UK is a major donor for Malawi – which receives 40 per cent of its budget from foreign donors. The House of Commons report however, found that “evidence of the value for money of its spending in Malawi is hard to find”.
Meanwhile, Minister of Information and Civic Education Brown Mpinganjira and Minister of Finance Maxwell Mkwezalamba briefed reporters on Monday in Lilongwe that government has formed a ministerial committee to monitor progress on all issues surrounding the cashgate.
They disclosed that the Executive has developed an action plan to address weaknesses in the Integrated Financial Management Information Systems (Ifmis), the electronic payment platform used by government since 2005.
British envoy noted the steps taken have government so far are encouraging but more need to be done.