HTD, Dipak beneficiaries of K600m treasury payouts under FIU probe

HTD Limited distributors of Kia motors in Malawi  is among the companies that are being  probed by the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU), with the help of the Reserve Bank of Malawi (RBM), as Treasury paid out a sum of money estimated at K600 million (about $1.5m), Nyasa Times understands.

Some companies who benefited from the suspicious payouts include Victoria Hotel’s Gani.

Also enjoying the favours of the payout thought to have been made against dubious transactions between January and September this year included Dipak of Sealand.

Dipak is also being probed on his closeness with Secretary to the Treasury Radson Mwadiwa who is believed to have influenced his fertilizer supply deal and fast-track payment.

Paul Mphwito: His shooting has opened a pandora box
Paul Mphwito: His shooting has opened a pandora box

FIU has since requested the central bank for images of cheques that were paid out from what is called the Malawi Development Account.

Allegations of revelations of various financial misdeeds at Treasury and the Accountant General have gone viral on social media in the wake of the shooting on September 13 2013 of Ministry of Finance budget director Paul Mphwiyo.

But Mwadiwa said Treasury would not know about the investigations.

“When these people [FIU] are investigating an issue, we are not told, so I am not aware of the issue,” Mwadiwa was quoted by The Nation on Thursday.

Malawi President Joyce Banda said Mphwiyo, currently receiving medical treatment at Milpark Hospital in South Africa, was on the verge of busting a corruption ring.

Sources said the shooting  was as  a result of a deal gone  sour involving a top minister, PP official , private practice lawyer and a businessman .

But Malawi’s Minister of Justice Ralph Kasambara and lawyer Wapona Kita dismissed as lies and described as defamatory allegations that have gone viral in the social media on their alleged involvement in matters relating to the shooting of Mphwiyo.

Kasambara dismissed the allegations as work and machinations of people who do not wish him well and are only trying to tarnish his reputation for their personal reasons.

The source  claims Mphwiyo had a fall-out with the bigwigs in a matter related to an Accounts Assistant for the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Patrick Sithole arrested  for alleged illegal possession of K120 million which was in different currencies.

Sithole was arrested on September 7, 2013 following a tip off that the police got from the suspect’s housemaid who in fact stole part of the money.

New measures

Meanwhile, Treasury has announced the tightening of controls in the government payment system commonly known as the Integrated Financial Management Information Systems (IFMIS).

The new measures contained in a circular from Treasury dated September 19 2013 say that government will engage an independent auditor to electronically audit the IFMIS on a regular basis to help detect any irregularities that have taken place as well as to identify risks that must be addressed to strengthen internal control.

The internal auditors, under the new measurers,  would be required to pre-clear all payments above K500 000 (about $1 250) while vouchers for such amounts will be required to bear a designated stamp denoting approval.

The statement signed by Treasury’s principal secretary for administration Newby Kumwembe also says that registers will be introduced to link funding and cheque issued with each beneficiary department required to compile a list of cheques issued, stating the beneficiary, names of signatories, cheque amount, cheque number and a brief description of the expenditure.

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