Malawians will have to wait for an additional two weeks before a report of the preliminary forensic audit into the loss of billions of taxpayers’ money at Capital Hill is revealed.
Minister of Information Brown Mpinganjira alongside Auditor General Stephenson Kamphasa and team leader of international forensic auditors Mark Sullivan disclosed this at a press briefing in the capital Lilongwe on Wednesday.
The two-week delay was attributed to the legal processes some banks, specifically Nedbank and First Merchant Bank, required before they could release information.
Lack of cooperation from estate agents and private property valuers also contributed to the delay.
Mpinganjira said the audit team from the National Audit Office (NAO) was given a deadline of January 31 to complete and release the report.
“But due to challenges beyond their control, they have extended the deadline by two weeks because people they were working with are outside government circles,” Mpinganjira said.
However, the report which covers how millions were lost between April and September 2013, would only be made available to the public at the end of two weeks.
The Auditor General could, however, not fault the banks and estate agents for not cooperating, saying all they did was to demand that legal procedures be followed before releasing information.
Kamphasa said: “I want to make it clear that we will have to follow the legal procedures and the owner of the report would pass over the report to the relevant authorities including Parliament who would make it public.”
However, it is not clear when Parliament is expected to meet.
This preliminary forensic audit covers five months and has been funded by Britain while the comprehensive audit covering 2005 to March 2013 would be done with funding from Germany.