Speaker of Parliament, Richard Msowoya, is being suspected to be a sell-out to government to gag members of parliament from deliberating the K577 billion (about $856 million) financial analysis report in the wake of revelations that seven Cabinet ministers were allegedly involved in the mismanagement of the public funds.
The Speaker stopped the MPs from deliberating the matter, saying it was a “preliminary report “ which could not be tabled.
But Kalua told the press that he was suspicious of the Speaker’s actions in blocking members on the issue.
“This is a matter of national importance and for him [the Speaker] to just come up and stop everything like that we are wondering if he is not a beneficiary of the same,”Kalua told The Nation newspaper.
“ We are questioning his wisdom, capacity and independence in the chamber,” said Kalua.
The National Audit Office (NAO) has submitted 13 files to the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) related to the pilferage of public fund between 2009 and December 31 2014 following the report prepared after the findings by the business advisory firm PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) titled Financial Analysis Report: Reconstruction of the Malawi Government Cashbook for Purposes of Further Investigation.
Kalua said the fact that the files have been sent to ACB does not satisfy the law makers “ because we know that they [ACB] will sit on these files and nothing will happen. You will see.”
The K577 billion came amid revelations of Cashgate—the plunder of public funds at Capital Hill—exposed in 2013 as people abused the electronic central payment system, Intergrated Financial Management Information System (Ifmis).
In a June 19 2015, NAO said the audit analysis had identified significant discrepancies between payments made from government bank accounts and cashbook records held in Ifmis.
A forensic audit report by British firm, RSM (formely called Baker Tilly), that established that K24 billion was looted from Capital Hill between April and September 2013 under the administration of Joyce Banda and her People’s Party (PP).
Banda is on record saying “ There must be a stubborn link between the MK577 billion scandal of 2009 and 2012 and the MK20 billion cashgate of 2013.”
The shooting of former Ministry of Finance budget director Paul Mphwiyo outside the gate of his Area 43 residence in Lilongwe on the night of September 13 2013 is widely believed to have led to revelations of Cashgate.