Minister of Finance Goodall Gondwe announced on Thursday government has immediately launched a fresh forensic audit at State House, Malawi Defence Forces (MDF) and Malawi Police Service (MPS) as part of a probe into the Cashgate.
Addressing a press briefing at Parliament building in Lilongwe, Gondwe pledged that there would be no “sacred cows” in pursuit of justice on the Cashgate—a K13 billion public finance scandal that rocked the country last year.
He further pledged that government will release details of the comprehensive audit report by the British auditing firm, Baker Tilly, later in August, adding the decision to audit the three institutions is a follow up to the recommendation by the previous audit report.
“As we speak, the Auditor General and selected private auditors are on the way to start work. Prior to that, we had discussions with the MDF and we are pleased to inform the nation that the head of the MDF has agreed to the decision.
“Of course, we will make sure that such audits do not compromise national security and the terms of reference (ToRs) have also been seen by the auditors who agreed that even in the UK, routine audits are conducted at the defence forces,” said Gondwe.
Quizzed whether the probe will also investigate alleged public funds abuses under the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) rule, Gondwe said the probe will not have a specific targeted period; hence even malpractices by those in the current administration might be investigated.
“The auditors have given us an interim report without names and they will be coming back to complete work in August and a complete report with names will be given to the Auditor General.
“The republic is demanding names of people involved. They also have given us case study files to be used to follow up to the cases under prosecution now,” said Gondwe.
In his inauguration speech, President Peter Mutharika pledged to deal with Cashgate and bring all culprits to book.
The move to announce names of culprits in the report is in sharp contrast to the stance taken by former president Joyce Banda’s administration, which attracted public outrage after failing to release details of those implicated in the scandal.