One of the country’s human rights activists and law expert, Justin Dzonzi has trashed the recently released forensic audit report on Capitol Hill looting-Cashgate-describing it as government’s ploy to hoodwink the nation from knowing the truth of the whole scandal.
Dzonzi in an exclusive interview with Nyasa Times argued that by not mentioning names and institutions involved in the looting of billions of tax-payers money, the report was simply protecting political career of several high-profile officials from Malawians’ wrath.
The lawyer and Executive Director for Justice Link has since urged Malawians to exercise their Constitutional right by obtaining a court order demanding a full forensic report from the auditors.
“The report was to inform Malawians of what happened and not protecting those involved from possible prosecution. I share the frustrations raised by everyone that this report is just there to hoodwink Malawians into a lie,” said Dzonzi.
Dzonzi who is now Malawi Human Rights Commission (MHRC) Commissioner said there was a need for government to come out clean on the report and reveal names of people and institutions involved the infamous scandal that drained over K13 billion through ghost contracts.
He said: “Malawians should demand full report. Anyone can seek Court Order to compel auditors to reveal full report. I feel being an elections year; the report is protecting some few individuals who are not supposed to participate in these elections at all”.
Dzonzi further questioned why government was treating the forensic report differently from other audit and inquiry reports such as Mwanza murder report, Polytechnic student Robert Chasowa inquiry as well as late President Bingu wa Mutharika’s death inquiries that revealed full details of those involved.
“The Mwanza Murders Inquiry Report gave out full details of who said what, when where etc; the 2001 Maize Scam did the same and so did the Chasowa Murder Inquiry Report and indeed the Inquiry Report on the Death of the Late President Dr. Bingu wa Mutharika. Why the people behind cashgate have been accorded such immunity from public knowledge?”
The audit, which was conducted by Baker Tilly International, a British company, said that between April and September last year the government lost K3.7 billion (about $9.2m through fraud, theft or unethical actions.
But it did not name the firms or individuals for legal reasons.
Observers said the report indicated that the government was showing a willingness to open its books to independent auditors, but it also revealed the depth of the problems it faces.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :