MCP moves to block APM’s Auditor General choice

Malawi Congress Party (MCP) says it will block the appointment of chartered accountant Joseph Nangantani as Auditor General based on a myriad of reasons, including legal and political.

MCP alleges that the appointee, whom President Peter Mutharika picked from a recommended shortlist of three after a selection interview, lacks the requisite experience for the job.

But Institute of Chartered Accountants in Malawi (Icam) chief executive officer (CEO) Francis Chinjoka Gondwe, whose institution submitted four names to the presidency for nomination to the office, yesterday dismissed suggestions that Nangantani was not qualified.

He said Icam submitted a list to the President with qualified auditors who would ably perform the job and specifically vouched for Nangantani’s suitability for the office.

Said Gondwe: “We [Icam] did not participate in the recruitment of the Auditor General, our role was simply to provide additional CVs of candidates who could be considered as requested by the Secretary to the Treasury. We provided four CVs.”

He said Nangantani has worked since 2000 as an auditor and started started his career at KPMG before moving to AMG Global where he rose to be partner of the audit firm.

Said Gondwe: “He is a very suitable candidate for the job.”

Putting up MCP’s case, the party’s spokesperson the Reverend Maurice Munthali yesterday said in an interview, the party’s members of Parliament (MPs) will provide a thorough analysis of the nominee and reject anyone without the required experience.

He said: “This is a parliamentary matter and our parliamentarians have a grasp of critical analysis.”

Secretary to the Treasury Cliff Chiunda could not be reached for comment yesterday, but Ministry of Finance, Economic Planning and Development spokesperson Davies Sado previously told The Nation all was set for the appointment of the new Auditor General.

The country has been without an Auditor General since last year when the previous office holder Stephenson Kamphasa’s contract expired.  Mutharika’s previous pick for Kamphasa’s replacement, Harold Mwala, was withdrawn after a public outcry, including Icam and some donors, who said the appointment process was flawed, among other reasons.

The Auditor General is crucial in fighting corruption in a country which is losing the battle against the vice with billions of taxpayer and donor money lost through various corruption and embezzlement schemes. Kamphasa played a critical role in exposing Cashgate—the plunder of public resources at Capital Hill in October 2013.

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