Malawi Government has once again pledged that the forensic audit report outlining how public resources were plundered between April and September 2013 will be handed over to the Minister of Finance at the end of this week.
Minister of Information Brown Mpinganjira made the announcement during a press conference he conducted today in Malawi’s capital, Lilongwe to comment on national matters among them the continued delays in releasing the report and how government used proceeds of the sale of the presidential jet.
Perhaps in reaction to the backlash from Malawians after the National Audit Office (NAO) on Tuesday announced yet another obstacle to publication of the report, Mpinganjira said he could not see the finalisation of the report “taking longer than end of this week.”
“I can see that the forensic auditors will resubmit the report to Auditor General in a few hours and he should then be able to take to Parliament through Minister of Finance,” Mpinganjira said.
The minister also allayed fears that government officials and politicians involved in the scam would doctor the report because the British Government, which funded the process would also release the report in future.
The new deadline is in sharp contrast to the announcement from NAO, which Mpinganjira read out at the press conference, which did not specify the period during which the forensic auditors would carry out processes to ensure the report meets international auditing standards.
The Grand Coalition of Civil Society Organisations has accused government of taking Malawians for granted with the persistent postponements to release the report to the public, initially slated for end January then February 14 before it was postponed again to February 18.
But there is no guarantee that once the report is handed over to the Minister of Finance it would be made public immediately because Parliament is only expected to meet in April when the report would be tabled before the House as required under Section 184 of the Constitution.
Meanwhile, Mpinganjira has contended that the presidential jet was sold and proceeds used to buy military equipment, maize and drugs.
He would not, however, comment on revelations that the proceeds did not reach the coffers of the Malawi Government as expected and refused to divulge the details of the purchases because there was no legal basis.
CAPTION: Mpinganjira: We cannot doctor the report