President Peter Mutharika has appointed Sungani Mandala as the new accountant general.
Mandala, 42, who was director of finance in the Office of the President and Cabinet (OPC) until his appointment on March 23 2019, replaces Chrighton Chimombo who left in December after holding the position in an acting capacity.
In an interview yesterday, Mandala said he intends to improve on the challenges currently facing the Accountant General’s office.
He said: “There are challenges in the system that need a complete overhaul. I would like to see changes and make the public service a better place.”
Mandala has been appointed at a time his predecessor faced a backlash from the parliamentary Public Accounts Committee and some civil society organisations who said he was not fit for the position because of his alleged unprofessional conduct over the procurement of the new Information Financial Integrated Management Systems (Ifmis) software.
However, Mandala has said no procedure was flouted in the purchase of the new system; hence, his plan to have operational by July 2020.
“I will make sure the system is up and running come July. This will help [reduce] the problems we currently face because the old system has many flaws, it does not fully meet the requirements of government processes,” he said.
After graduating from school in 2001, he was recruited into the civil service at Machinga District Health Office and has since worked in various ministries, including as chief accountant in the Ministry of Finance, Deputy Director of Finance, Assistant Accountant General and as project manager for Ifmis in 2014, after which he was promoted to the position of Director of Finance in the OPC.
He holds a bachelor of business administration from University of Malawi’s The Polytechnic and a master’s of business administration in finance from the University of Bradford in England.
When contacted on the appointment, Institute for Chartered Accountants in Malawi (Icam) chief executive officer Francis Gondwe said he had no information in that regard.
“We have heard a rumour that a new Accountant General has been appointed. We will establish if this is true and give The Nation newspaper our position on the matter on Friday,” he said.
Mandala is expected to report for duties on Monday April 15 2019.