K54bn stolen from Malawi’s public coffers

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A national audit for the 2016/17 financial year has revealed that K54 billion was stolen from government coffers.

The National audit report has shown massive plunder of public funds in various government ministries and state agencies including the Police, tax-collecting body Malawi Revenue Authority (MRA) and the Office of the President and Cabinet.

Dr Haswell P Bandawe of MAENGA Group who analysed the audit report says it show cases of theft as a result of persistent failure to provide documentation in support of payments, payments without contracts, failure to substantiate foreign travel and undocumented purchases of fuel among others.

“The Ministry of Defense and the Army embezzled K17 182 508 052.50 or 31.9% of the K53 867 646 370.61 embezzled and was followed by Accountant-General’s Office (K14 626 746 399.25) or 27.2 % of the total stolen.

“The Ministry of Home Affairs was third with a share of 16.21 % (K8 732 621 164.37 while ESCOM accounted for 9.47% of the theft or K5 100 000 000.00 and ADMRC’s share of the loot (7.85% or K4 227 784 575.00),” said Bandawe.

He noted that the money stolen is seven times the US$10 million (K7.7 billion) loan government sourced from India.

Bandawe hoped that the revelations will shock Malawians and that members of the general public will take the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) administration.

He also wondered why President Peter Mutharika is yet to fire any top government official over the corruption scandal.

“Given the huge amounts of money not accounted for, it is beyond belief that no one has been fired. But it’s normal that no one would be fired since those at the top of the institutions are tribesmen of Mutharika. That’s what tribalism does: it is a huge conspiracy to raid national resources by a few,” said Bandawe.

Since falling out with Mutharika, Vice President Saulos Chilima has been claiming that there is massive corruption in government involving officials.

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