An IT expert in United States says there’s no doubt about the authenticity of the Cashgate report containing names of individuals and companies allegedly involved in the plunder of government resources at Capital Hill.
Doubters claimed the report released by Malawi government last week had been altered but US based software expert James Knox-Davies in his examination of the document has dismissed claims of doctoring flat-out wrong.
But the expert differed with Malawi Justice Minister Samuel Tembenu“ staggering display of technical ineptitude”claiming that the report couldn’t be doctored because, “it was received in PDF format and remains so.”
Said the expert: “Needless to say, PDF files can be edited. Also, you can find out if they’ve been edited by looking at the metadata on the files, which actually lets us dust for digital prints of editors of the files. (You may remember the same being done with a Iraq security dossier to the chagrin of Tony Blair.) Furthermore, some of the data was also released as an XLS (i.e., a spreadsheet), which gives us some more information about the history of the reports.”
Knox-Davies states that there’s no evidence of the Malawi government interfering with the report.
“But there’s a third version of the report. These are the files that were released October 30th, not an earlier version of the PDF that — as best as I can guess, anyway — leaked between February 21st and 23rd of this year. (This one differs that in the October 30th PDF, specific people are identified as likely being involved in Cashgate, where the earlier version simply makes policy prescriptions to avoid large scale embezzlement in the future),” he notes.
Meanwhile, Auditor General Stephenson Kamphasa has also attested to the authenticity of the Cashgate report.
“This report is genuine. It is authentic,” said Kamphasa.
Parliament’s Public Accounts Committee (PAC)chairman Alekeni Menyani MP, has since expressed concerns about the unconstitutional way the report has been released given that the committee is mandated by law to receive [audit] reports.
British audit firm Baker Tilly conducted the forensic audit on behalf of the National Audit Office (NAO) funded by Department for International Development (DfID) of the United Kingdom government.
The report into the 24 billion kwacha ($48 million) of missing funds, handed to the government on Sept. 25, shows that amounts were paid for goods and services that were allegedly never delivered. The document covers April 1, 2013, to Sept. 30, 2013, and details instances of inflated procurement prices and overpayments.
But contrary to ‘court of public opinion’ former president Joyce Banda and former vice president Khumbo Kachali names are not there.
According to the report people including former commander of the Malawi Defence Forces, General Henry Odillo, his deputy, Clement Kafuwa, were allegedly involved in some of the deals.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :