Two leading human rights non-governmental institutions in Malawi Centre for Human Rights and Rehabilitation (CHRR) and Centre for Development of People (CEDEP) say Malawians have been taken for a ride on the recently released Cash gate Forensic Audit Report.
In a statement issued on 25th February 2014 and made available to Nyasa Times, the human rights campaigners argue that in the build up to the release of the report prepared by Baker Tilly of London, Malawians were promised to read the findings in its raw form, a promise that according to the two groups have ‘shamefully not come to pass’.
“For sure, without names of suspects, it is a tall order for Malawians to accept the independence and credibility of the report.
“Malawians have surely been taken for a ride on this cash-gate saga and the buck surely stops at government which risks losing the trust of Malawians. Let the tax payers know the names of individuals and companies who looted their money, full stop” reads part of the statement co-signed by Timothy Mtambo and Gift Trapence CHRR and CEDEP Executive directors respectively.
While describing the release of the forensic audit report as a relief on the grounds that government had finally succumbed to public pressure after differing the report for many times, the two rights groups have touted the report as a ‘disappointment and wanting’
“For a record, what we have at hand falls short of measuring up to the kind of the report Malawians have been craving. We shudder to learn names of suspects are conspicuously missing in the much-awaited report for reasons that can as well be described as suspicious and provocative. Limiting the risk of prejudicing any current or future legal action as a justification for failing to lay bare specific transactions, names or companies involved in defrauding government of tax-payers’ money is, to say the least, tantamount to emasculating the report itself”
According CHRR and CEDEP, in light of over K13 billion reported to have been lost to the scandal, the nagging interest on the minds of concerned Malawians was to know the suspects who looted their hard-earned money.
“Contrary to this conventional thinking, the report only presents Malawians with figures of money lost. Really?Without mincing words, CHRR and Cedep find the report as just another well-crafted documented aimed at playing around with the psyche of bitter Malawians,”reads part of the statement.