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Forensic audit to dig Macra corruption rot: Malawi President Mutharika vow not to shield anyone

Following series of entrenched wanton corruption and dubious procurement dealings at scandal-riddled  Malawi Communications Regulatory Authority (Macra),  a forensic audit has been approved by the regulator’s board  in a move by the Peter Mutharika led government to stamp out corruption, Nyasa Times can reveal.

Itaye the Macra boss: Creating financial loopholes at Macra for looting purposes

External auditors for Macra, Price Waterhouse and a board member confirmed from Lilongwe about the exercise, despite heavy protests from Director General Godfrey Itaye, who is being investigated by the Anti Corruption Bureau (ACB) for a series of alleged dubious contracts.

Topping the list is dubious award of about a total of K23 million dubious contract to Itaye’s mother In-law Kai Kalion Agency,(Computers and Printers) Muhloteni General Dealers,(55ins Led TVs for One Stop Shop and Car tracking, which all belong to his parents in-laws. The K135 million developmental calendars at Fattani Printers.

Also being investigated is the upgrade of controversial Consolidated ICT Regulatory Management Systems (Cirms) machine, widely known as the ‘spy’ machine, in which Itaye is alleged to have collected up to two million US dollars split between master minder of the deal, Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) strongman Kondwani Nankhumwa.

Agilis International, the supplier of ‘spy machine’  is a one man firm whose owner Rovan Bunnet flies into Malawi without financial or legal team to negotiate such a huge contract.

Documents in Nyasa Times possession also include a number of dubious cheques manually written, outside the ACCPAC system being kept under lock by Finance Manager Phillip Nakoma.

Last week, Itaye took to Facebook with a ‘Chigoba’ [pseudo] page purportedly belonging to some young lady to clean up his image and castigated Nyasa Times for its investigative journalism.

None of the main stream print media houses never carried the alleged corruption stories because Itaye, working with Nankhumwa silenced editorial gatekeepers.

The forensic audit comes after President Peter Mutharika appointed Rev. Alex Maulana as Macra board chair. The man of God replaced Mevis Mangulenje, a close ally to Chief Secretary Lloyd Muhara.

Mangulenje was also at the center of dubious procurement of the  K94 million refurbishment of Muhara’s.office.

Itaye, has been arrogantly bragging that he is connected to DPP strongest politician Nankhumwa and the ACB would not touch him.

Under his leadership Macra performance has deteriorated with professional telecommunications key staff abandoning ship including Director of Telecoms Lloyd Nomba, his Deputy Jonathan Pinifolo, and  Micious Matsista among others.

Itaye, to silence and intimidate staff from.blowing the whistle about corruption,  influenced fiscal police to harras and arrest procurement manager Aitone Chandiyangana on trumped up charges of publishing illegal documents. Chandiyangana was fired before being held together with Human Resources Manager Dalitso Jumbe, who had warned Chandiyangana of the illegal arrest.

Instead, Itaye has been replacing managers with Nankhumwa’s cousins and DPP cadets among them HRM Chikumbutso Njolomole and Revenue Assurance Manager Dan Dachi.

Morale by staff is at zero, and a team.building excercise to mend fences with disgruntled staff failed last minute, yet Itaye paid up to $3000  to get an award of excellence from African Leadership Magazine, claiming Macra is the best managed Parastatal, according to a source close to a person who received the award.

Also being investigated are the fake procurement by procurement expert Joseph Ngalawa who has been syphoning funds through nonexistent telecentres where building materials were being bought for building a house for Chief Kyungu in the Karonga.

Speaking in Lilongwe on Tuesday when he presided over the launch of the National Security Policy, Mutharika  warned  that he will not give amnesty to anyone in corruptin activities.

“And I repeat, what I have always said, I will never shield anyone from the law,” said Mutharika.

Mutharika said his administration is “making progress” to crackdown on corruption.

“We need tight security on public resources, no more theft of public funds and never again should we hear of cashgate happening in this country,” said Mutharika.

 

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