Speaker of the National Assembly Richard Msowoya on Tuesday June 23, 2015 referred the much awaited K92 billion (US$204.4 million) forensic audit report to Parliament Accounts Committee (PAC) contrary to what was announced on Monday that Government would table the report on Tuesday.
The Speaker did not give specific reasons regarding the change despite the order paper indicating that the first business will be to table the report.
The Parliamentary Order paper indicated that Minister of Finance, Economic Planning and Development Goodall Gondwe would present the report which has been described as a data analysis document.
The Speaker referred the report to PAC which is chaired by MP Alekeni Menyani for scrutiny and further action as required by Public Audit Act of 2003.
National Audit Office (NAO) has said the report was only outlining methodologies on the reconstruction of the cashbook and not necessarily the actual forensic audit.
In the statement dated June 19, the Auditor General Steven Kampala clarified that what was available with his office, with financial assistance from the German government was a data analysis report as a first step towards a full forensic audit which would take approximately 10 months. The data analysis cost German taxpayers 250 000 euros (K125 million), according to NAO.
Kamphasa said the data analysis had identified discrepancies between payments made from government bank accounts and cashbook records held in the Integrated Financial Management Information System (Ifmis).
He said: “This is a data analysis not forensic audit, from analysis alone it is not possible to establish exact amounts or causes of the discrepancies nor how many of these funds were misappropriated.”
Opposition Malawi Congress Party (MCP) spokeswoman and Salima North West MP Jessie Kabwila has said the report “will have a bearing on the budget.”
The K92 billion mismanagement is believed to have happened under the watch of the first Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) administration led by former president the late Bingu wa Mutharika.
President Peter Mutharika has since said “whoever is found to have done anything wrong the law will take its course”.
On how his government is intending to make head way on cashgate issues, President Mutharika warned of the looming arrests of cash gate scam suspects.
“We are making a lot of progress I think more and more people are being arrested, am sure you are going to be hearing announcements soon that more and more people are being arrested for massive looting of the treasury under cash gate.
“We will make sure whoever was involved in that, is brought to book and that the properties are recovered so we are working on that”, said Mutharika.
A forensic audit report by British firm 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).Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :