Leader of opposition in parliament Lazarus Chakwera has angrily reacted to the failure by the Auditor General to audit state residences and Office of the President and Cabinet (OPC).
A recent released audit report for government ministries and agencies has spared the State House and Office of the President and Cabinet (OPC), government entities known for abuse of public money.
The Auditor General’s office has not explained why the state residences and OPC are glaring missing out in the 119 audit report amid concerns that money might have been abused.
Chakwera, who is also the main opposition Malawi Congress Party (MCP) president said this culture of impunity among politicians over public money must stop.
“There is need for action on this impunity. We must respect the rule of law; these laws must be followed. This culture of impunity must stop,” said Chakwera.
He said it was surprising that even after the audit report is out, no action has been taken against those suspected to have plundered public money or controlling officers who never abide by the law on the use of public money.
“After the audit report is out, have you seen heads rolling in government? There is the culture of impunity,” he said.
But Minister of Finance, Economic Planning and Development Goodall Gondwe played down the issue, saying there is no abuse at the state residences and the OPC.
He also said the government was working to reduce abuse of public money.
“We cannot stop abuse of public money but we are working towards reducing it. We are putting all measures to reduce the abuse of the money,” he said.
He said the situation in Malawi is not as alarming as in other countries both in Africa and elsewhere, saying in Zambia, donors are leaving yhe country because of rampant abuse of public and donor money.
In an earlier interview, Parliament’s Public Accounts Committee (PAC) vice chairman Kamlepo Kalua expressed concern that controlling officers continue to disregard the public finance management Act on the use of public money.
“The report shows that in some instances, huge sums of money were stolen or there was some corruption involved yet the controlling officers did nothing to control the situation,” he said.
He then asked graft busting body, the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) and other prosecution agencies such as director of public prosecutions (DPP) to prosecute those involved in the abuse of public money.
Kalua however expressed worry that sometimes the ACB and the state prosecution agencies take time to conclude their investigations as people continue to plunder the public money with impunity.
ACB director Reyneck Matemba said the organsation would mve in swiftly if PAC recommends action on some of the issues raised in the auditor general’s report.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :