The National Audit Office (NAO) has handed over five more case files, making it 10 the number of files which the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) and the police have to act on people and companies that took part in illegal activities which led to theft of billions of kwacha from government coffers.
However, there have been no fresh arrests at the conclusion of the forensic audit and the police and ACB could not be drawn to comment why they have not acted on the findings in the 10 files.
NAO public relations officer Thomas Chafunya said in an interview yesterday the Auditor General handed over five files from the forensic auditors, Baker Tilly, on Friday March 28 in addition to the initial five handed over on February 28, 2014.
“These have been handed over to the ACB, police and Director of Public Prosecutions [DPP] containing information which could help them with prosecution,” Chafunya said.
Deputy Inspector General of Police tasked with investigations into Cashgate, Nelson Bophani, said he was aware of the five fresh files which ACB would share with his investigators soon.
But Bophani could not comment on whether there would be fresh arrests on the findings of Baker Tilly or they had just corroborated their own investigations which resulted in the arrest of over 70 people.
“I can’t commit to that [fresh arrests] because we will need to peruse these files and see the way forward after that,” he said.
DPP Bruno Kalemba, however, said investigations into the theft of government funds were in several phases, which included initial beneficiaries and secondary beneficiaries in cases where investigators were not able to trace how stolen money was spent.
“Another phase of investigations comes in when we find that the money that was stolen was too much for the beneficiaries to have used it all, we need to trace where money might have been externalised, “ Kalemba said, adding that as a prosecutor, he would wait for ACB and police to share their files.
However, a source familiar with the proceedings confided in The Nation yesterday that the forensic auditors “have provided useful information, but nothing new.”