Joyce Banda cornered in MK553.3 billion cashgate scandal

Joyce Banda

… MWK580 billion looted between 2009 and 2014

The newly released auditing report prepared by Price WaterHouse Coopers (PwC) has, if anything, definitely tightened the noose around the neck of former Malawi President, Madam Joyce Banda.

Joyce Banda
K553 billion uncounted for during Joyce Banda’s regime

The report which Malawi24 has seen reveals that MK553.3 billion remains uncounted for in the period that Joyce Banda was in power, between 2012 and 2014. This amounts to 95 percent of the MK0.5 trillion (MK577.2 billion), which is the total sum of all the uncounted public funds from 2009 to 2014.

The auditing analysis reveals that these funds were withdrawn in a cashgate-executed style. In the meantime, the report has not implicated any person as it has not listed individuals behind the transactions.

But in an interview with Mail & Guardian as well as Voices of America, Joyce Banda conceded responsibility saying she was aware of the looting which she said happened under watch. She was however referring to the MK24 billion cashgate scandal that a British based firm Baker Tilly conducted after carrying out a forensic investigation into the unpopular cashgate scandal which commentators and donors suspected was just a tip of the iceberg.

Indeed, the MK24 billion is just a drop in the ocean when compared to the MK553 billion which the PwC auditing analysis report suggests might have been looted under Joyce Banda’s watch.

The report also shows that nearly K80 billion was uncounted for during the Bingu wa Mutharika regime between 2009 and early 2012 before his death.

Considering that about K55 billion in 2014 was not withdrawn despite a nod for payment being given, the total of uncounted for payment settles at K579 billion instead of MK657.2 billion.

In the meantime, PwC has shrugged off responsibility to have the auditing analysis report as evidence for cashgate related prosecution. The multinational auditing firm has called for a comprehensive forensic investigation to fish out the people involved in the scandal and establish how much these monsters milked Malawians. It is should be noted PwC only focused on amounts above MK1 million, giving a hint that accumulated figures after forensic auditing will rise if the chunks are patched together.

The PwC audit analysis was financed by the German government who confirmed to Malawi24 through their embassy in Malawi that the analysis will be followed up with a forensic analysis.

“The data analysis compared payment data from government bank accounts to records held in Malawi’s public financial management system (IFMIS). It established discrepancies between these different payments records.

“From the data analysis alone it is not possible to establish the exact amounts or causes of the discrepancies detected, nor the volume of misappropriated funds. In order to establish this, the discrepancies will have to be followed up by forensic investigations into the causes, companies/individuals involved and the amount of money concerned” reads part of a statement from the German Embassy to this publication.

So far, the Malawi audit analysis report also suggests that public funds have not been spared from looting under the current Peter Mutharika leadership.