Malawi corruption, fraud and netting of ‘small fish’ – Something and someone missing!

Press report: In a dramatic turn of events, Principal Accountant to government Roosevelt Franklyn Ndovi was arrested as he tried to exit Capital Hill gates in Lilongwe.

Ndovi is a signatory to Malawi government accounts. Police say Ndovi was carrying K3 million cash when his vehicle was intercepted at the exit gates of Capital Hill in a style that attracted the attention of a handful people and other security personnel.

When police took Ndovi to his area 25 residence and conducted another search, they found and confiscated 25,400 US dollars in cash.

“Through intelligence and information from well-wishers, we learnt that this man had money on him. On stopping him and searching, police found K3 million.

“Later at his house in area 25, more money in US dollars amounting to 25,400 was also discovered,” police spokesperson Rhoda Manjolo confirmed in an interview.”editorial

A day later…

“Malawi police in Lilongwe on Wednesday morning arrested yet another officer in the office of the Accountant General and confiscated cash amounting to K7.8 million cash at her residence.

Martha Banda aged 35, an accounts assistant in the Accountant General’s office, resides in Lilongwe’s area 49 where police were able to retrieve the money suspected to be public funds.

Police spokesperson Rhoda Manjolo confirmed the arrest of Banda in what she described as an on-going investigation into suspected money laundering by officers in the public service.”

Presidential statement:

President Joyce Banda’s response to these reports is that the Mphwiyo shooting saga and related corruption reports should be left in the hands of the police and the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB).

No Malawian, from what we have heard so far, has taken the irrational advice seriously because these institutions – the police and the ACB – have in the past, been used by those in power to stifle the truth and to make a cover ups.

“While investigations are on-going, I must make it clear that while a lot is being said about the incident, my administration believes in the rule of law and that’s why I have directed for the Police and the Anti-Corruption Bureau to immediately institute thorough investigations so we can all get the truth of the matter in time to enlighten the public as to what exactly happened,” she said.

Banda says she would do whatever it takes to see to it that appropriate action is taken as soon as the investigations are completed.

“In the meantime, I must warn everyone that I will not allow any government official or ordinary citizen to interfere with the on-going investigations. I also appeal to the media and everyone to refrain from making speculative statements that will interfere with the investigations,” she concluded.

Disquieting Questions:

  1. Is it true that it is only the clerks at Capital Hill stealing left, right and centre?
  2. Let’s assume that this was the case and Accounts Assistants at Capital Hill have all gone berserk. What is the President, her Minister of Finance and the usually rowdy officials paid for?
  3. Have we seen and/or heard the worst?
  4. And now the billion dollar question: If clerks are stealing millions at will, how much are their bosses – political and otherwise – grossing?

Nyasa Times Conclusion:

We will provide the answers, we will get to the truth. But for today, we will leave you in the dark, suffice to say that something is not adding up and this whole thing stinks through and through.

What we can say without fear is that the Head of State and  Minister of Finance Dr Ken Lipenga owe the nation explanations and apologies for their incompetence, cluelessness, criminal negligence, dereliction of duty and may be even for partaking in corruption.

What else and how else can we conclude? To those murmuring in dis-agreement we have one word: the truth is incontrovertible and it will come out.

As Winston Churchill once said, malice may attack the truth, ignorance may deride the truth, but in the end, there it is. And you know what? Buddha knew a thing or two about the Nyasa Times when he asserted that: “three things cannot be long hidden: the sun, the moon, and the truth”.

And in this vein, as to what has been happening to Malawi and development partners tax-payers’ money, soon enough, the public will know, at someone’s discomfort unless the big fat cats that set the pace in the looting are netted.

We promise to tell the story, the whole story. God bless poor and bleeding Malawi!

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