Malawi’s self-enriching government officials continue to beat the system to abuse public funds in government ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs), in re-emergence of Cashgate scandal -looting, theft and corruption at at Capital Hotel, a National Audit Office (NAO) audit has established.
The results of the audit, covering the 2017/18 financial year, shows weak systems which gives a lee way to massive looting of government money.
The report shows MDAs failed to account for K3.2 billion with controlling officers failing to provide supporting documents for their expenditure.
Acting Auditor General Thomas Makiwa confirmed the authenticity of the report seen by Nyasa Times.
Payments continue to be made before rendering services or rather fraudulent payments to businesspersons for services that were not rendered – Cashgate style – the report establishes.
The report also notes irregularities which include creation of fake remittance advices, fuel expenditure not recorded in the fuel register and operating account used for unrelated activities.
It also establishes the abandonment of motor vehicles in garages, fraudulent payments to personal accounts and supporting documents not provided for audit inspection.
Makiwa in the report has recommended the need to strengthen audit committees in MDAs to facilitate speedy responses to audit reports.
Cashgate scandal was blamed on Integrated Financial Management Information Systems (IFMIS) – a technical solution to deter corruption in public finance management – which was adopted in 2005 by the late Bingu wa Mutharika administration.
Former president Joyce Banda had suggested that the looting may have started as far back as 2010 following a directive by the former president Bingu that banks should honour all government cheques without asking questions.
Banda became president in 2012 following the sudden death of Bingu wa Mutharika; she had been vice-president although she had been fired from the then ruling party and had formed her own party.
In 2013, between April and September, about K24 billion was discovered to have been stolen from the public purse whereas between 2009 and 2014 about K236 billion could not be accounted for.
Malawi, one of the world’s poorest countries, is now being described as a kleptocracy in some circles, and international aid is drying up. The contrast between the lives of the majority of the population and elites caught with suitcases of stolen government money – not to mention those who successfully enriched themselves over years in power – are as clear to see as ever.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :