Gun-shot survivor Budget Director Paul Mphwiyo bared it all when he met members of Public Accounts Committee (PAC) of Parliament on Tuesday morning blaming the massive plunder of tax payers’ money at Capital Hill on poor government systems.
Clad in dark blue suit, a matching shirt and tie, Mphwiyo looked sharp save for the mis-shape of his right face side which his attempted assassins drove two bullets through.
“I am glad that the Public Accounts Committee as an oversight committee looking at government finances has decided to make this hearing public and open to the media. I was going to be sad if it were to be held in camera, because there is absolutely nothing to hide,” said Mphwiyo to the delight of the jam-packed conference room.
He told the members of his personal dismay on how government funds were being abused by thieves just only three weeks he was appointed into the hot seat.
“When we were doing the reconciliation on the Macro level awaiting the IMF review team into the country, we noticed that there was a huge disparity between the amounts of money we funded Ministries and departments and the statements coming out of the Reserve Bank of Malawi for refunds. It was then evident that huge amounts of money was being siphoned and for a while no one had no clue how this was possible, I alerted the ST (Secretary to the Treasury) and the former Minister of Finance (Ken Lpenga) on the observations….in process of working that out…..I got shot,” said Mphwiyo.
He said Malawi needs not only a watertight financial management system but also people of high moral integrity to manage it.
“Even if we get a superfine Chip from the Silicon Valley it will not work perfectly unless we get good people to administer it. To me personally, we as Government must take responsibility to own up that for years we didn’t do much to change the situation, when we started to take strides to change it. This is a tragedy,” he said.
Mphwiyo said lack of coordination between the Accountant General, Reserve Bank of Malawi and Ministry of Finance made it difficult for government to detect fraud.
Mphwiyo also dismissed allegations that he supplied President Joyce Banda with stashes of cash, describing the allegations as nonsense.