Malawi is set to hold a multi-stakeholder conference to review what caused Cashgate and find ways to avoid a repeat of the plunder of public resources at Capital Hill.
This will be the first time a conference has been held since revelations of Cashgate following the shooting of former Ministry of Finance budget director Paul Mphwiyo outside the gate of his Area 43 residence in Lilongwe on September 13 2013.
Civil society group, Citizen for Justice (CFJ), which is organising the conference alongside GIZ, Norway-based U4 Anti-Corruption Resource Centre and the Malawi Judiciary, said the two-day conference will focus on a Judiciary-driven anti-corruption drive.
Apart from the Judiciary, the conference to be held in Lilongwe next week will also be attended by the Directorate of Public Prosecutions (DPP), the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB), the National Audit Office (NAO) and Ministry of Justice and Constitutional Affairs.
CIJ executive director Reinford Mwangonde said the conference will afford the public an opportunity to hold the oversight institutions and the Judiciary accountable on the handling of the scandal so far.
He said the main objective of the conference is to bring more collaboration in the fight against corruption.
According to Rachel Etter, CFJ head of accountability, policy and programmes, other conference objectives include enabling the participants an opportunity to “share perspectives and extend their knowledge”.
“We will also discuss the role of the justice sector in Malawi’s anti-corruption efforts and particularly in the follow-up of Cashgate: current working approaches and their limits, challenges, opportunities,” said Etter.
British forensic auditors, Baker Tilly, established that K24 billion was not accounted for between April and September 2013.
On the other hand, PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), in its analysis of Malawi Government accounts between 2009 and December 2014, found that K577 billion was not accounted for during the period.
The conference comes against a background of the Judiciary working to map a time frame for Cashgate.
Several people have been convicted so far, but 64 cases remain in court. n