Germany government has funded a comprehensive forensic audit of ministries and departments covering the period between 2009 and 2012 under the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) rule in what is being christened as ‘DPP K92bn cashgate’ scandal.
Germany has given EUR18 240 000.00 (K 9.76 billion) to conduct an audit into the fraud.
“The German-funded audit is to quantify the amount misappropriated over the period 2009-2013,” Katrin Pfeiffer, head of development cooperation at the German embassy, said in a statement.
An interim investigative audit report of the government payment system known as Integrated Financial Management and information System (Ifmis) that the National Audit Office carried out between November 2011 and first half of 2012, which was kept under wraps, showed that government lost over K90 billion through abuse and irregularities.
Price waterhouse Coopers (PwC) International has been named as the audit firm to carry out the exercise.
Pfeiffer said her government had provided support to this audit as one of many components under its technical cooperation project Strengthening Public Financial and Economic Management in Malawi, implemented by GIZ.
“The German-funded audit will build on experiences and findings of the British-funded audit,” Pfeiffer told Weekend Nation.
She added: “The audit is to quantify the amount misappropriated over the period 2009 – 2013. It will be submitted to the Auditor General in order to be used by the Malawi authorities (Executive, Legislative and Judicative) and other interested parties to determine suitable actions to remedy the situation caused by the presumed misappropriations.”
Germany has stressed that it wants the full recovery of money that was stolen through cashgate to resume budgetary support to Malawi.
“We are much interested in the recovery of money and the arrest of the culprits,” German Ambassador to Malawi Peter Woeste told Capital Radio, a private broadcaster.
Germany envoy said Malawi government has to seal all loopholes first to warrant aid resumption.
“No one would put money into a bucket that has holes and is still leaking,” he said.
The drama began in September 2013 when Paul Mphwiyo, the then budget director and the person former president Joyce Banda had tasked to close the loopholes in the public purse, was shot three times in the head in Lilongwe. Miraculously, he survived the attack and is amongst state witness in his shooting case.
Ralph Kasambara, former minister of Justice, has been accused of orchestrating the assassination attempt of Mphwiyo and if facing charges related to that. He is also facing separate money laundering charges together with chief suspect Oswald Lutepo.
Some 60 cashgate cases are in the courts, and this week the justice minister Samuel Tembenu indicated in parliament that more people involved in the plunder will be arrested.
The Anti Corruption Bureau (ACB) says roughly K20 billion went missing Banda’s two year rule. They add that probably another K90 billion went missing over the eight years of the presidency of the late Bingu wa Mutharika, equal to roughly $500m at the exchange rate of the time.
In total about 30 per cent of the country’s budget could have been looted over a decade – almost as much as donors have provided Malawi over the same period.
A first senior government official Treza Namathanga Senzani was jailed last week for three years over the scandal.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :