WE CANNOT INTERFERE WITH BRITISH FORENSIC AUDITORS, THEY ARE AUTONOMOUS AND PROFESSIONAL AND WILL RELEASE NAMES OF CAPITAL HILL LOOTERS WHEN THEY HAVE COMPLETED THEIR INVESTIGATIONS- GOVT

British High Commissioner to Malawi Michael Nevin and Justice Minister Fahad Assani at the Donor Community meeting with President Joyce Banda on Cash Gate Saga at Kamuzu palace-pic by Lisa Vintulla
BY MWAYI MEKEMEKE 2/03/2O14

Malawi government has described as unfortunate Public Accounts Committee (PAC) of Parliament’s rejection of Forensic Audit Report done by hired British forensic auditors, Baker Tilley Services Limited, on basis that the report has no names of looters and companies involved.

The government says it cannot pressurize the forensic auditors to publish the names as is called upon by various stakeholders because the report was produced by an independent film which is professional and autonomous.

Minister of Information and Civic Education Brown Mpinganjira has made the remarks.

He said the British government that sponsored the audit wants the names withheld until the auditors thoroughly investigate and establish the extent of their involvement.

“We did not interfere with them at each level of convention when they were auditing our (public/government) accounts. What President Banda did cannot be done by most government Heads of States by allowing the audit to be done in the first place. But our President supported the auditors and made sure a very conducive environment is maintained while they were auditing public accounts,” he said.

Mpinganjira said President Banda also wants the public know the identity of looters as soon as possible as a way shaming them for the malpractice but still said the president trusts the judiciary system in Malawi and expect it to see to it the cash plunders are punished accordingly.

THE BRITISH GOVT WANTS NAMES WITHHELD TILL INVESTIGATIONS ARE COMPLETED
British High Commissioner to Malawi Micheal Nevin is on record to have said releasing names of looters now would jeopardize with investigations into the matter and asked government not to release the names.

The Forensic audit report into the looting of Public resources which Malawians had been waiting for anxiously has revealed that public funds amounting to K13.6 billion was misappropriated in the infamous cash-gate between April and September.

But the auditors still need time to iron out the names of plunders involved.

PRESIDENT BANDA SHOWED POLITICAL WILL TO CLOSE LOOPHOLES IN IFMIS
First to set the alarm of cash-plunder was President Banda who suspected a foul play in the country’s financial management system that was introduced by late President Bingu wa Mutharika whose administration is reported to have plundered over MK100bn.

As a way of closing the loopholes, President Banda called upon Anti-Corruption Bureau, Malawi Police Service and other law enforcers including government ministries to treat the issue of cash-gate as a matter of emergency and see to it the plunders are brought to book.

Consistent to her words, over 90 people have been arrested because of their connection to the scam.

The president also called upon donors to provide credible external auditors that can examine government accounts and provide a report on the extent of cash plunder in the public service.

When the British Government therefore offered itself to provide their trusted and credible forensic auditors to examine government accounts, President Banda provided them the most excellent political environment to enable them do their job professionally and independently.

JB IS THE ONLY PRESIDENT TO HAVE DECLARED HER ASSETS AND MAKE THE DECLERATION IN PUBLIC
The Principal Secretary in the Ministry of Information Chikumbutso Mtumodzi has said it is unfortunate that some people are connecting President Banda’s Assets to cash-gate saying President Banda needs to be hailed for being the first Malawi President to have made public her declaration of assets.

He said: “It is unfair for the Malawi Human Rights Commissioner (MHRC) Chairperson Sophie Asimenye Kalinde to link cash-gate to President Banda’s assets considering President Banda is the first president to make public declaration of assets. It is just that, as a country, we don’t have enabling laws for her assets to be made public but at least she declared them. Actually, she also declared her assets when she was the country’s vice president.”

WHERE IS THE WHOPPING MK100BN LOOTED BY DPP-LED ADMINISTRATION
The Public Accounts Committee of parliament has been given a thoroughly report of a cool MK100bn that was looted in Bingu wa Mutharika’s administration but the committee id hesitant to begin working on the findings.