GOVERNMENT POSTPONES RELEASE DATE FOR FORENSIC AUDIT REPORT TO OBTAIN SUFFICIENT INFORMATION

BY BANTHU TIMES REPORTER 30/01/2014

Government and the Forensic Audit Team have assured the country that the highly anticipated Audit Report uncovering names and information concerning the Capital Hill looting would be ready by February 14, 2014.

Hon. Brown Mpinganjira(left) Stephen Kamphasa and Mack Sullivan speaking on financial report at capital Hill in Lilongwe -Pic. By Abel Iikiloni

Addressing journalists at Ministry of Finance offices in Lilongwe on Wednesday, Minister of Information and Civic Education, Brown Mpinganjira said the Forensic Audit Team had been meeting challenges in sourcing information from private firms.

Mpinganjira mentioned NEDBANK, First Merchant Bank (FMB) and Estate Agents are some of the firms that they had problems in sourcing information, however, he was quick to point out that the firms have now cooperated with the court’s intervention.

“As earlier announced in the previous press conferences, we had planned to complete and release the report by January 31. However, our colleagues had problems working with business firms outside government circles, hence the slow progress and the extension of the deadline,” he stated.

Auditor General, Stephenson Kamphasa added that the process could not be done in a hurry as there is need to obtain sufficient information that would provide sufficient evidence.

“We are really working hard to meet the new deadline. The information has been sourced and we are in the process of analysing it. We have to analyse it thoroughly to avoid implicating wrong people,” said Kamphasa.

He added: “When the report comes out, the procedures will be followed according to legal procedures. The courts will release the names of the culprits to avoid defamation of character.”

He further said that the report would be made available to the Auditor General and presented to the Finance Minister before reaching the President and the general public.

Also present at the briefing was the Forensic Team Leader, Mark Sullivan who could not speak much as it was his first time coming out in public and could not be allowed to interact with the media.

Sullivan only managed to say that despite reluctance from the private sector to release information, on the other hand, government had been cooperative.

“The third parties were not cooperative hence the slight delay. However, we are working well with the Audit Office,” said The Forensic Team Leader.