State House officials in the Lazarus Chakwera administration have been named in a scam in which K65 million in taxpayers’ funds has been stolen.
Chakwera was elected in June after promising to eradicate corruption but reports have shown that new State House officials led by Chief of Staff Prince Kapondamgaga have already started stealing from Malawians.
Kapondamgaga and Director of Finance Gedion Kalumbu are reportedly masterminders of a scam where bogus security experts have been lodged at a hotel in Lilongwe with taxpayers paying inflated hotel bills.
The scam involves a person identified as Kiza Aziz Elias who is acting as an agent hosting “three security experts” who are in Malawi to train Chakwera’s private security and officers from Malawi Police Service (MPs) Malawi Defence Force (MDF), National Intelligence Service (NIS) on how to defend.
However, despite State House spending money on hotel bills for the four, the other three people do not exist.
One room is booked in the name of Mr Zora who is a fictitious person as Zora is actually the name of Mr Miguel Elias child in Blantyre.
Another person is using the name Mr Mitha which is the name of Elias’ uncle while the third person is Mr Eugenia Molera who does not exist and Elias used the name because it is the maiden name of his wife.
According to reports, State House has been paying MK240, 000 per room for the four since July this year but the proposed security training is yet to start.
State House has so far spent MK65 million kwacha on the bogus accommodation payments.
There are also reports that State House flouted procedures in the awarding of K5 billion contract for renovation of State Residences, leading to calls for the contract to be audited.
State House has also been accused of buying laptops at an inflated price of MK4 million each from a company known as Roehampton Barnes in Lilongwe.