PAC rejects cashgate report: Demand names

The Public Accounts Committee of Parliament (PAC) has rejected the forensic audit report into the fraud and theft of money from the Malawi government which found that over K13 billion was siphoned between April and September, 2013 describing it as  “ a cover up scheme’.

The audit, which was conducted by Baker Tilly International, a British company, did not names the firms or individuals involved in the cashgate for legal reasons.

However, the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB), Malawi Police Service (MPS) and the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) have been given the full report to compare against ongoing investigations.

Mwangonde: Demands names of firms and individuals involved in cashgate
Mwangonde: Demands names of firms and individuals involved in cashgate

PAC told Auditor General Steven Kamphasa that the report was being rejected outright as it was deemed incomplete without names of firms and individuals involved in the financial malfeaces.

“We are not satisfied with the report which conceals names . We have compared with other forensic audit reports elsewhere, they contain names and we want the same in this,” said PAC chairperson Beatrice Mwangonde.

She said the Auditor General explained to PAC that they had taken out names in the report for legal reasons which she said it was unconvicing.

Opposition Malawi Congress Party (MCP), United Democratic Front (UDF) and Democratic Propgressive Party (DPP) have all called the audit report as a “cover up”.

Public Affairs Committee (PAC) held at the close of its third Stakeholders’ All-inclusive Conference in Blantyre made resolutions that the forensic report be published with names of those who have been involved in looting government funds by 15th March , 2014,

“Top Officials from public and private sectors involved in the looting of government funds (cashgate) must be treated equally rather than applying the rule of law selectively,” said the resolutions.

The conference also demanded that “all holders of offices implicated in the current forensic audit should be interdicted pending investigations, and not merely be moved between posts within government machinery. This should be done with immediate effect.”

The audit report recommended that more investigations are needed and these should be extended to international bank transfers.

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