The Auditor General (AG) is set today to present details of individuals and companies involved in Cashgate between 2009 and 2014 following revelations that about K236 billion could not be reconciled in the government cashbooks.
The move comes against the backdrop of similar demands in the previous Baker Tilly forensic audit report covering the period April to September 2013, which Parliament has not followed up after the full report with names was given to the members of Parliament (MPs) and case files presented to the Anti-Corruption Bureau.
The AG has come under pressure to provide Parliament with concrete details other than the report by the United Kingdom forensic audit firm, RSM Risk Assurance LLP, which has been presented to the House, but only states that 50 case files have been submitted to criminal investigation bodies for action.
After a heated meeting with AG Stephenson Kamphasa and his team yesterday, Parliament’s Public Accounts Committee (PAC) deputy chairperson Kamlepo Kalua confirmed that the AG had agreed to provide the names today.
Said Kalua: “The committee has resolved that we still need to know the names and the Auditor General has agreed, under oath, that he will give us the names tomorrow. These are names of individuals and companies who looted this country’s resources at the expense of poor Malawians.”
Once the names are submitted to the committee, Kalua said a report would be presented to the House plenary which will include an analysis of the report and recommendations for the easy understanding of the whole House.
“The report, which has come to the committee, is comprehensive and detailed. It falls short of naming and shaming the so-called families who connived to siphon money from the government. It has revealed deep split-bidding which is illegal and resulted in these losses,” he said.
Kalua described the report Kamphasa took them through as shocking and an annoying development and that he was personally disheartened that the fight for multiparty democracy had bred such impunity.
According to the report, the audit found that K83.5 billion of the K236 billion which could not be accounted for was paid to 44 companies from the sample of 50 which the auditors selected to analyse.
The audit also found that billions were lost in overpayment of goods and services, duplicate payments and overpayment on shipping to wrong locations.
The criminal activities were particularly rife in the country’s security arms, Malawi Police Service (MPS) and Malawi Defence Force (MDF) where contracts were awarded to businesses controlled by one individual.
The Anti-Corruption 2016
Bureau (ACB) is yet to act on the 50 case files resulting from the forensic audit.
Initially, the amount suspected to have not been accounted for was pegged at K577 billion, according to a PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) data analysis released in May 2015.
However, the forensic audit established, through its testing of the system and controls, that the unreconciled funds could be in the region of K236 billion.