Accountant General David Kandoje, one of the key officers in the ongoing Capital Hill cashgate investigation, has been fired from his position.
Kandoje becomes the second person to be removed from the position of Accountant General in under two years of Malawi President Joyce Banda’s rule after replacing Dorothy Banda, now principal secretary (PS) II in the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security, in July this year.
While there were no surrounding circumstances at the removal of Banda, Kandoje’s letter moving him to become PSII in the Ministry of Health coincided with a protest by signatories to government cheques staged two weeks ago.
Sources said over the weekend that among the cheques to be signed at that time were from the Office of the President and Cabinet (OPC) whose purpose we could not immediately ascertain.
But in an interview yesterday, Kandoje, who is on leave until mid-January 2014, said he was told no specific reasons for his removal.
“I think it is a normal posting as far as I was told,” he said.
Kandoje is yet to report at the ministry “because I am on leave until somewhere mid-January”.
Ministry of Finance spokesperson Nations Msowoya said Treasury too was not told specific reasons, saying: “Reasons are always discussed by OPC. We just got communication of his replacement.”
The new Accountant General is Thomas Makiwa, formerly director of the Central Internal Audit within the OPC.
OPC spokesperson Arthur Chipenda on Sunday said Kandoje’s removal was a normal civil service movement, adding that the development will not affect the forensic audit currently under way.
“The way government operates, things cannot stop with only one person out of the picture,” said Chipenda.
Capital Hill is currently embroiled in a financial scandal christened Capital Hill cashgate which saw public servants and private businesspersons siphoning money from public coffers without delivering goods and services. The culprits, some of whom have been arrested, took advantage of loopholes in the government’s electronic payment system, the Integrated Financial Management Information System (Ifmis).
In the wake of financial scandal, some of the country’s major donors under the Common Approach to Budget Support (Cabs) suspended their budget support for the October to December 2013 quarter. The withheld budget support is $150 million (about K60 billion). The country’s 2013/14 national budget expiring on June 30 2014 is pegged at K639 billion.