PAC says Auditor General presents ‘stale’ information on cashgate forensic audit

The Auditor General Stephenson Kamphasa’s   report with details of individuals and companies suspected to have been involved in abuse of public resources between 2009 and 2014 has some stale information including companies cleared of cashgate, the Public Accounts of Parliament (PAC) has observed.

Stephenson Kamphasa, the Auditor General
Stephenson Kamphasa, the Auditor General

PAC vice chairman Kamlepo Kalua rubished the reports in the new forensic audit, saying it has information that has been imported from the K20 billion cashgate report  covering the period April to September 2013 and that not much fresh information has come out of the new audit.

In the recently released forensic audit report, it established that during the six-year period about K236 billion in public funds could not be accounted for.

Kamphasa presented to Parliament through the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) the details, which as seen by Nyasa Times shows details of some companies which were dully cleared by Attorney General being included.

“We need the real culprits not this copy and paste information,” said Kalua.

He said it will be folly to discuss security matters in the media but said “the devil is in the details” of the cashgate files with names.

The Auditor General shelved the release of names and requested the Attorney General’s Chambers to give a legal opinion first on implications of the act.

But as seen by Nyasa Times some of the companies were included in the cashgate report in 2013 on suspicion that they overcharged.

Attorney General Kalekeni Kaphale said that the payments government made to the companies were dully cleared by his office and were included in the report on suspicion that they overcharged.

Kaphale said it was matter of pricing not cashgate by some companies who offered services to the Malawi Defence Force and the Malawi Police Service.

In a memo seen by Nyasa Times from National Audit Office date 2 May 2013 to Secretary of Treasury reference AUD/ST/4/1, deputy auditor general verified that over K7 billion paid to 18 firms were “legitimate amount.”

He said National Audit Office examined invoices and verified the delivery.

Attorney General said the firms were not accused of ‘cashgate – obtaining payments from government on services not supplied or rendered – but a suspected case of overcharging.

“My reading of the report, which I have done several times shows that the main issue in the transactions involving the two companies was over pricing,” said Kaphale, about the 2013 cashgate report the information which has been pasted in the current audit.

He said “Prices are agreed by two parties.”

The Attorney General pointed out those documents in his possession show that the payments were approved by his officer, certainly by his predecessor.

“Government normally does not buy from the source. It buys from middlemen. Middlemen usually quote their prices higher,” Kaphale is on record saying.

Attorney General said the  matter of overpricing is “outside the modus operandi of cashgate.”

He said: “When you look at the report, you have people who didn’t supply anything, yet they got payment.”

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5 years ago

Initially I thought Kamulepo Kalua is a vice chair of PAC. I didn’t know that he has demoted himself to the position of the spokesperson of PAC. Next time just say that Kamulepo says bla bla …. Do not involve PAC in this. Kamulepo is not PAC. He is just a member of PAC. PAC did not tell him to say what he said.

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