Malawi govt given 3-days ultimatum to reverse appointment of Mwala as Auditor General 

Chief Secretary to the Office of President and Cabinet (OPC) Lloyd Muhara has been given a three-day ultimatum by civil society organisations (CSOs) to annul the appointment of new Auditor General (AG) Harold Mwala, saying it did not comply with the laws of the country.

Muhara: Mwala appointment as Auditor General should be annulled

Muhara is a lawyer by training and in OPC on secondment from the High Court where he is a Judge. But he risks legal action if the decision to appoint Mwala is not rescinded as the CSOs has engaged a private law firm on the matter.

CSOs leaders Gift Trapence and Timothy Mtambo who head Centre for the Development of People (Cedep) and Centre for Human Rights Rehabilitation (CHRR), respectively have hired Bunnel & Associates to challenge the appointment of Mwala.

The lawyers in a letter on behalf for the CSOs have told the Chief Secretary that the appointment of Mwala disregarded several procedures outlined in the new Public Audit Act.

The CSOs have said they are concerned with “impunity” which the Auditor General has been hired.

Commenting on the matter, governance expert Makhumbo Munthali told Nyasa Times that the decision by government of Malawi  to rush without following  the procedures laid out in the recently approved Public Audit Act to fill the position of Auditor General before setting a clear date when the law would be in force was largely motivated by its vested political interests.

“The expectation was for government to set any date in May or early June 2018 when thus new amended law would come into force and subject the appointment of the new Auditor General to all procedures and process as laid down in the amended law,” said Munthali.

He continued: “ The message we are getting here is that we have a government that comes up with a new law (through parliament) but is not willing to abide by the dictates of such a law in the immediate time hence its continued delay to set the date when this will come into power. In all this, Malawians have been duped.”

The development comes after Malawi’s development partners have also expressed concern that President Peter Mutharika’s administration slowed down implementation of the new Public Audit Act and used an old law in appointing new Auditor General.

Mwala was appointed using the old Section 5 of the Public Audit Act as read with Section 183 (3) of the Constitution which gave appointing powers to the President and confirmation by a committee of the le National Assembly.

But Section 5(a) of the new law gazetted on May 11 2018 after the President signed it into law on May 8 provides for a transparent procedure in the appointment of the AG which includes advertising in two widely circulating newspapers and instituting a panel to shortlist candidates and conduct interviews.

Section 5(a) (5) reads: “The President shall subject to Section 183 (3) of the Constitution to appoint an Auditor General only from the names on the list recommended by the selection.”

Mwala is a fellow of Association of Certified Chartered Accountants (ACCA), Certified Public Auditors (CPA) Malawi.

He holds a master’s of business administration from Esami, a master’s degree in accountancy and diploma in accountancy from the University of Glamorgan (UK).

Mwala has worked previously in public sector at Accountant General, National Audit Office, Malawi Housing Corporation and Admarc.

He has also been working with private sector at Wood Industries Corporation (Wico_) First merchant Bank and Mulli Brothers Limited.

Mwala will replace Stephenson Kamphasa, whose contract was not renewed, at a time his office has submitted files for further investigation to the Anti-Corruption Bureau pertaining to the K236 billion loss in the period between 2009 and 2014 of public funds known as Cashgate and oversaw the reduction of the backlog of public audits, especially at local government councils.

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Lottie
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Lottie

??????

#DzukaniAmalawi
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#DzukaniAmalawi

Since when has DPP been a corporate “citizen”. DPP enacts and breaks laws at will. It has no regard for procedures and processes even those laid down in their own charter/constitution. The party is known for disregarding the dries of the people and the CSOs cries won’t be any exception. The part is known for buying its own way even it means bribing judges. DPP is know for collapsing the very legal system and law enforcement agencies they have themselves created. DPP thrives in chaos and it has fans to the tune of 36% of the voting population. DPP is… Read more »

President Mkango Lion Manthakanjenjemereza
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President Mkango Lion Manthakanjenjemereza

The National Audit has been used by politicians to appoint their stooges, Joice Banda appointed Kamphasa who gave an audit report without names. At the National Audit Kamphasa was seen as a very bad guy. He sub contract to private auditors all audits to be done by the National Audit, yet NAO use ISSAIs and private audit use ISAs. The lack of experience on private auditors led to his outcry on substandard work. By subcontracting people at the NAO were suspect corruption by their head the former AG.

mchisala
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mchisala

Where is the commitment do to things differently (transparently) if you are more than happy to do things the same old (corrupt) ways! And if indeed this guy was best placed to assume this position why subject him to “appearances” that this was done because he was not?!

Themba Mwambira
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Where does Harold Mwala come FROM???

John
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John

Thyolo

mwana mulopwana
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mwana mulopwana

Join the discussion…He comes from Ntcheu and not Thyolo

Mesimadzi
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Mesimadzi

…..since the effective date is not yet set…….

Mesimadzi
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Mesimadzi

Mwala’s CV is very rich having worked in the National audit before. Those questioning his appointment are fully aware of this fact that’s why none of them have questioned his professional competence. No law has been broken, therefore seeking court redress is abuse of the court process. Demanding the setting of the effective date for the new law so as to have that date fall before the appointment of Mwala is asking for the application of that law retrospectively. That is illegal. Since the effective date is not yet, there is no way it can be backdated. The appointment of… Read more »

President Mkango Lion Manthakanjenjemereza
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President Mkango Lion Manthakanjenjemereza

Mesimadzi do you know how many people in the National Audit who have better qualifications than this guy? Many. He will lack experience because the time he was there as an assistant auditor audit was not using RAM. So as a head He will be taught even the basics of audit as it was with Kamphasa.

#DzukaniAmalawi
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#DzukaniAmalawi

Mesimadzi, the issue is around the lack of transparency in the appointment of one of key appointments especially in light of rampant corruption in the country. What is wrong with the government following a transparent process (new or old laws). Government should be be seen or be above abroad when it comes to its own conduct. The appointment just looks suspicious hence the challenge. In any case, mesimadzi, you should be siding with the CSOs for challenging the appointment process. DPP is known for lack of governance in its dealings and this appointment just proves the same. DPP is always… Read more »

james
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james

mwati a bambo Mwala a magwira ntchito kwa Mulli Brothers? ohhhhhh

Sikusinja
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Sikusinja

I thought once a law is gazetted it becomes law. Does it need an effective date. Once gazetted its law.

matumula
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matumula

The World Bank has also protested the appointment of the new ODPP saying that they will withhold 80 billion budget. World Bank has issued a strongly worded letter. za ulendo uno kaya.

dinto
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dinto

I know Mwala well. Definitely not suitable for the job. Don’t read too much into the qualifications. For those that say he worked for National Audit before do you know kuti anali ndi udindo wanji kumeneko?

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