Expenses scandal of Malawi electoral bosses: MEC ponders ‘spin’ conference

There is more to the rot at Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) as Nyasa Times still continue to publishing its exposé on the “management fraud” at the electoral body according to a final audit report. It has been established that the management were involved in expenses scandal by claiming dubious allowances.

Mbendera ( 2nd from left) flanked by MEC Commissioners

Mbendera ( 2nd from left) flanked by MEC Commissioners

Analysing the audit report which covers July 2012 to December 2014, Nyasa Times highlights personal wrongdoing of top officials in claiming the expenses.

MEC chairperson Justice Maxon Mbendera, according to the audit findings, claimed a loan for housing and furniture to the tune of K8, 219,067 which was made up of payments to Malawi Housing Corporation (MHC) at K1, 155,000 and payment to MASR furniture at K5, 390, 000.

There was also a payment for a house constructions works but disguised as a furniture loan directly paid to Durobloc Construction at K1, 031,066.94.

Further payments for Mbendera were made to GAME Stores for gymnastics equipment amounting to K533, 500 and K109, 500 for a three months TV subscription to Multichoice Malawi

The report also fingers chief elections officer Willie who collected an emergency allowance of K2, 083,219 made up of personal loan when going to Arusha, Tanzania costing K446, 219.40) and emergency advance of K1, 500,000.

Others commissioners were named in collecting questionable emergency allowances. They included Dr Wellington Nakanga (K1, 400,000), Stanly Billiati (K250, 000), Rev. Mezuwa Banda (K700, 000), Elby Kalonga Mtafu (K1, 800,000), Rev Emmanuel Chimkwita Phiri – (K500, 000) and Thandi Nkovole (K1, 000,000).

Others in emergency loans scandal include Ayanja Kumitengo, the secretary to chief elections officer (K500, 000), G. Sikwese (K20, 000).

The MEC advances account for loans had been drawn K25, 000,000.

The report says the honoraria for Commissioners and staff salaries were paid from Accountant General.

The chairman’s secretary wrote a an internal memo on 27th August 2014 stating: “His Lordship would like to surrender the K6 million gratuity at the end of term of office to clear the debt and the balance of K2,109,566.94 be cleared within 24 months effective October 2014.”

Gratuity is only paid after successful completion on the contract period. It is therefore observed to be wrong to surrender a gratuity to clear the loan while the contract period has not come to an end.

The Malawi Public Service Regulations stipulate public relevant authority may grant loans to employees in respect of education, emergency, bicycle, motor vehicle and general purpose fund.

Special funds must be identified and put into an official loan revolving fund account from which personal loans should be paid.

However, the audit findings revealed that personal loans were paid out of elections operational funds “with no evidence of repayment” therefore defrauded the public.

MEC management response to the query was that “they considered as another way of investing the idle funds for the transfer to MEC staff private loans account.”

Management also blamed the practice on pressure from politicians they work with.

“However, we sometimes pay loans from operating funds due to pressure from politicians we work with,” MEC responded to the audit query.

Meanwhile, MEC spokesman Sangwani Mwafulira had advised the commission to have a news conference to spin on the contents of the investigative audit.

In an internal email to the commissioners, seen by Nyasa Times, Mwafulirwa writes: “We will have a marathon of articles from this audit report.  My suggestion is that we to hold a big press briefing may be by the MEC chairman, where all these issues will be clarified.

“It would be good if it is recorded and rebroadcast on radio or TV. If we have a press briefing we
will have our stance heard and communicated to all stakeholders.”

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Natalia wa Dedza
Guest

Mbava za Chiluka pa Malawi . Justice Mbendera , Kalonga, ndiuyunso Rev Chimkwita Phiri DZ7007 kuchinda akazi aeni ake

Balamanthu
Guest
Both willie kalonga and maxon Mbendera have no integrity at all.How can the whole country entrust them to run credible elections?We do need total overhaul at MEC and change the way the systems of our elections are administered.This is what made Buhari win the Nigerian elections.Unfortunately, the largest opposition in the name of the MCP is focusing on politics rather than mobilizing for this to happen so that we have a fair and credible election in future so that Malawians choice is expressed accordingly.Otherwise, the DPP mafia will keep robbing us of our choices and also keep ruling through backhanded… Read more »
victim Chamkhuni Lwazazi
Guest
victim Chamkhuni Lwazazi

Worrying dubious allowances and cheating benefits. The Mbedera and group of money hungry members – each one of them. They completely fail to run the elections because their hearts and eyes were on money, self enrichment. These guys always shed crocodile tears when things they deliberately plan go against the will of Malawians, justice, religion of all walks – as long as they are appeased with money and other resources.

But a day will come when their powers will wilt.

Paradiso
Guest

The problem is the we know how corrupt are lawyers are and yet we trust them with huge responsibilities. Don’t expect anything good from the.

akupha
Guest

THE GOOD NEWS IT WAS A LOAN. AS LONG AS THEY ARE PAYING I DO NOT THINK THERE IS A PROBLEM.

Paradiso
Guest

Tembo is clean. Remember that she is coming from MCP where integrity is paramount. So try them in 2019

i miss kamuzu
Guest

hahaha! ngati akutoma ma reverend amene ndiye palinso chabwino pa malawi? is this country just a free for all?

that’s why kamuzu amalemba azungu ngati ma manager ku presscorp. amalawi simungathe kuyendetsa company. and by ‘company’ ndikutanthauza zambilitu…..where is john tembo kodi?

blessings
Guest

Mmmmh,Malawi dziko lovetsa chisoni,misonkho ya yathu imabedwa dairy,oh Lord,why?dairy muva kuti mu boma mu abs ma million or billions while the majority we’re poor..save us Lord…..patokha sitingathe.

hangman Mtambo
Guest

Malawi leadership has gone down the toilet. Komatu ili nthawi ya JB and Kasambara bwezi amalawi mukuhauka zedi. Kaya zanu izo, ubwino wake it is your country, your choices, and your prejudices.

Ife tili phee ku ulaya bambo ndipo sikukoma kwake kamoyo kopanda malungo!

Change
Guest

The works of DPP

wpDiscuz

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