Ndilowe maintains arrests are ‘breakthrough’ in Capital Hill plunder

The chief secretary in the office of the President and Cabinet,  Hawa Ndilowe on Thursday told Members of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) of Parliament  that  revelations of financial maladministration at Capital Hill and the spate of arrests on suspects is a “breakthrough” in the crackdown to the cash leak .

Ndilowe  appeared before the committee on Thursday in Lilongwe as part of investigations into the cash looting at  Capital Hill which has led to loss of  about K20 billions of public funds.

She said government will deal with all perpetrators as there is political will not to shield anybody.

Ndilowe informed the committee that “a forensic audit”  is being arranged to analyse  major transactions from few years back because the stealing has been happening from previous administration of DPP but discovered and being addressed now.

Ndilowe: We are getting to the bottom of the matter
Ndilowe: We are getting to the bottom of the matter

But some members felt the cash-gate has not been exposed by any work of government but because Budget Director Paul Mphwiyo was shot and people are now divided at Capital Hill.

The massive plunder of public cash has seen instances of low-earning civil servants found with millions of the local kwacha currency–and thousands of US dollars–in the boots of their cars and in their bedrooms.

Auditor General Steven Kamphasa who appeared before the same committee on Wednesday also informed that a forensic audit which his office would carry out in due course would respond to all queries.

Also facing PAC was Accountant General David Kandoje who said his office has engaged a system supplier, Softech, “to recover all transactions which were deleted in the system.”

He however said the transactions “ were not entirely deleted,” saying they  have also discovered “an audit trail.”

PAC member Henry Mussa of opposition Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) said  there is need for independent external auditors to avoid conflict of interest, saying “ chances of tampering with evidence are very high.”

Thoko Banda, an aspirant for next year’s presidential election, has also said President Banda and parliament are not competent enough to investigate the scandal due to potential conflict of interests.

“There is a need to appoint a special prosecuting team, people that could inspire public confidence to take the investigations,” he said.

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